"Nothing, they are very rude at QEII."

About: Queen Elizabeth I I Hospital (Welwyn Garden City)

(as the patient),

What I liked

Nothing, they are very rude at QEII.

What could be improved

Last week I went to a physiotherapist appointment, which had been made after referral by my GP to help in my recovery from a slipped disc. This was my second appointment, however the first appointment had occurred 2.5 weeks prior, before I had surgery to relieve the symptoms of pain in my back. The first statement by the physiotherapist after greeting was “I will do an assessment, then I will write a letter to your GP telling him that we will no longer be seeing you as a patient here.” I told her that surely that decision would be made after the assessment, but she insisted that no, they were not going to see me any more.

My surgery had been delayed due to MRSA given to me by the hospital, and my first physio appointment occurred prior to surgery. When I went back after surgery, and physio refused to see me again, they cited their reasons as being: because I was in too much pain. This is a problematic statement, as it leaves two possibilities: 1) either the physiotherapist did not know that the surgery was meant to alleviate pain (I did try to explain it to her but she claimed it would make no difference), or 2) the physiotherapist was right and the surgery I had was a placebo, and would not affect my pain levels, therefore it was useless to reassess my level of pain post surgery. If the latter case is true, however, this implies that I was given a sham surgery by QEII which in reality gives no symptomatic pain relief.

I think the medical literature would rather support the first view, that the physiotherapist was completely incompetent and had no business dismissing me as untreatable due to excessive pain when she had not assessed my pain levels post surgery. Moreover, although I claimed I was NOT in the same amount of pain as I had been since she last saw me, she refused to take my word for it. This is curious, as I would expect that the patient would be in the best position to assess personal pain levels.

Anything else?

This was the second time in seven days that I had seen someone at QEII hospital who had told me their decision before their assessment. I do wonder what directs their decisions, if not the assessment itself. I am not British, and I have furthermore been made disabled through gross negligence of a consultant working out of QEII. Now I am being left to rot without treatment.

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Response from Queen Elizabeth I I Hospital

While appreciating your predicament, your principal criticism in this message seems to be how you have been treated by the physiotherapy service at the QEII. While based at our hospitals, this and other therapy services are actually the responsibility of the local primary care trust. Of course we have an interest in the quality of services they provide to patients, we have no real say in what their staff say and do. We would ask, therefore, that you raise your concerns with the PCT, whose website is: www.enherts-pct.nhs.uk.

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