"Organisation Abomination"

About: Royal Orthopaedic Hospital

First off I shall point out that the staff I dealt with are indeed very friendly here. Secondly the physiotherapist I saw was excellent. Thirdly, the waiting times are atrocious but that may even be considered a testiment to the great reputation this hospital has.

So why am I so dissatisfied then? The administration and organisation are shockingly poor. I personally believe they are responsible for me not being able to recover faster than I would've hoped to be able to. They've set low standard after low standard that I'm starting to expect to have no choice now but to get better on my own.

Since boxing day I've been suffering with what turned out to be a herniated disc at the L5/S1 level that means I feel pain all down my right leg. To begin with I couldn't straighten my right leg and now two months later I can walk/sit for up to twenty minutes without too much difficulty, so things are improving on their own but very very slowly. I'll give a timeline of the events as I see them now:

- After having severe back pain and (what seemed like) sciatica I went to my GP, they referred me for an MRI scan and gave me painkillers, etc.

- I had a private MRI scan on the 6th January and saw a physiotherapist privately on the 11th January about the results. Between the two they recommended I seek surgical consultation ASAP as it was unlikely to recover without.

- Being a finishing PhD student I don't have the money for private health care so I was referred to the ROH as recommended by my private physiotherapist.

- Wait 4-6 weeks before hearing of an appointment, why they can't give me one sooner I don't understand, surely that's what computers are for?

- Eventually find out I've been referred to a physiotherapist, seems a bit of a waste of time when I've already paid for one so I enquire by email first and then after no response (ever, the email address might as well not exist) I phone up and the person on the phone says it's not just a physiotherapist that "they're higher than a physiotherapist".

- Appointment gets cancelled and put back a month, when I ring up to find out what happened it's been put forward to two days before it was originally, well no real complaint here but it comes across as slightly incompetent.

- Go to see the physiotherapist yesterday (it was just a physiotherapist as far as I can tell) who tells me almost exactly what I was told on 11th January apart from I am getting slightly better and now it's been so long I should just wait it out, possibly up to twelve months. So I wasted my money in December and have a huge recovery period due to the incompetent organisation. We've elected to now wait to see a surgical consultant but no idea how long this will take now.

My personal experience has been that whilst I'm sure the doctors are excellent the admin staff has been so poor that it's effectively just been a waste of time. They've been the most needed and least useful organisation I've ever had the mistfortune to have to deal with.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Sally Xerri-Brooks, Head of Communications, Communications, Royal Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Many thanks for letting us know about your experience. I'm very sorry to hear that things have not gone as you had hoped.

I would encourage you to get in touch either with our Patient Advice and Liaison Service on 0121 685 41280121 685 4128 / roh-tr.pals@nhs.net or or Complaints on the 0121 685 41280121 685 4128 / roh-tr.complaints@nhs.net where we can listen to your concerns and try and work out what has happened and how we can best support you going forward.

With thanks and best wishes

Sally Xerri-Brooks

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