"All I would like is someone to sit down and really examine my jaw"

About: University Of Bristol Dental Hospital

(as the patient),

I have suffered with TMJ for several years, it started with just a click every now and again and my jaw would lock and then snap shut if I fully opened it. My dentist never picked up on this and I therefore assumed that it was nothing to worry about. However, it has slowly got worse and worse and within the last year or two, and I have suffered with every symptom imaginable such as; locking of the jaw, clicking all day every day, a dull ache in the jaw, horrific headaches, ear aches, severe neck and shoulder pain, and a struggle to eat. And only being in my early 20s, I thought this needs to be sorted before it really starts to affect my life.

I made an appointment to see my GP (that in itself had a 3 week waiting list). When it finally came around, he briefly glanced over my jaw referred me to have an MRI scan at the BRI, the letter for this referral came through 3 weeks later with a date that was for another 3 weeks after that. All was fine with the scan and the nurses were lovely, I was in and out of there within half an hour. They said that I would get a call or a letter telling me when my results were in.

3-4 weeks go by and I have heard nothing, so I phoned my GP surgery and ask if my results are in, which they were. So I was then given an appointment to come in and discuss my results and the next step of action but nothing was available till mid-April.

3 days later and I get a letter in the post dated from the day that I called saying that my results were in and I should phone for an appointment.

So, I went in for my appointment and they decided to refer me to a specialist and said that I would receive a letter with my appointment details.

Almost 5 weeks go by and I receive an 'appointment reminder' saying that I must remember to book my hospital appointment all of which details and passwords could be found on my refferal letter. What letter? I was rather cross at this point as I had not received a letter and I had to phone several different departments to try to find this mysterious password which allowed me to book my appointment. An hour later I was done. Hooray I thought! The next available appointment was a month away, but at least I now had a next step sorted.

Or so you would think.

Yesterday I had a voicemail on my home phone from a woman at the Bristol Dental Hospital saying that they had tried to contact me (which nobody has) and that my appointment has been booked for the wrong clinic and I must call back to rebook.

All I have had in nearly 6 months is 2 5minute doctors appointments where they were a bit baffelled and just passed me off to the next person they could think of. I am in constant discomfort and pain which is getting worse every day. And I feel almost like nobody is taking this very seriously. All I would like is someone to sit down and really examine my jaw and let me know for sure what can be done next.

I understand that appointments have waiting lists and that's absolutely fine, but I feel like I am doing all of the chasing around and in 6 months the only thing I have to show is a report from an MRI scan.

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Response from University Of Bristol Dental Hospital

We are very sorry to hear about the inconvenience you have experienced. We do have a patients support and complaints team who can log this which will allow us to improve on the issue you have raised. (0117 342 1050 / pals@uhbristol.nhs.uk)

We sincerely hope you receive treatment soon and start your road to recovery. Kind regards.

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