"Anxiety over waiting for Diagnosis"

About: Crosshouse Hospital

(as the patient),

In January I began to have severe abdominal pain. Less than a week later I was admitted to the surgical receiving ward at Crosshouse Hospital. The consultant was just about to send me for a CT scan, and changed his mind, due to high levels of radiation, 4 days later I was sent home with the possible diagnosis that I'd hurt myself without realising. A small ovarian cyst was also found. The pain has continued since. Some days it is perfectly bearable some days it's excruciating. Only 6 days with no pain since January.

I have been to my GP who has done everything possible to help and get me referred back to Crosshouse, I have been to A+E twice and doctors on call twice, and was told by A+E that my doctor was wrong to send me there. I've since seen the consultant who discharged me back in January again. I got an appointment at his surgical clinic. However, I was out of there and back in my car within 5 minutes. The speedy turn around of my appointment meant that I forgot to tell him something very important, so when he arranged for me to go for a CT scan, and I waited a further 5 weeks for the CT scan, I stupidly kept thinking Oh it's OK I will tell them I have A LUMP in my throat when I go for the CT scan.

That was last week. The ladies doing the CT scan, were instructed only to scan my abdomen. And quite rightly so if I have a problem with my throat, I need to go back to my GP and ask for a new referral. Hopefully it won't matter because I'm pretty sure the symptoms are related.

However here I am not able to sleep, and praying that my GP will be able to tell me something tomorrow. I'm a mother and I'm scared. To the doctors, nurses, consultants who treat me, I'm just one of many, and because my symptoms so far is undiagnosed pain when they have patients who are in a far worse medical condition, I wonder if they realise that every day of waiting for the next part, the next step, the next appointment the next referral the next scan and eventual diagnosis is a horrific process for patients. Not just patients, their families too.

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Response from Eunice Goodwin, Patient Feedback Manager for NHS Ayrshire and Arran, Quality Improvement and Governance Team, NHS Ayrshire and Arran

picture of Eunice Goodwin

Dear MrsYS,

I am so sorry you are clearly very distressed over the time you have been unwell and in so much pain. I think you are right that the anxiety of waiting, to use your own words 'the next step, the next appointment the next referral the next scan and eventual diagnosis is a horrific process' and is probably under-estimated by a lot of us.

While we appreciate that people are more than likely anxious about the outcome of any health problem, we have no knowledge and understanding of the other influences that increase anxiety for our patients. There is a list as long as the Nile I am sure and it all adds to the stress and worry while we wait.

All that said, what next? I hope your GP can give you some news tomorrow. It is really important that you report your neck lump to your GP. There are clinics specifically about neck lumps, your GP can help if you need referred to one.

If you feel there has been an avoidable delay and you want me to have a look at it, please contact me on 01563 826222 or eunice.goodwin@aapct.scot.nhs.uk.

I do hope you get a good result tomorrow and your health issues are addressed.

Best wishes,

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