"No multidisciplinary approach and too quick to..."

About: Royal Lancaster Infirmary / Rheumatology

After a long wait for the appointment with a sudden newly developed condition that had left me disabled for 3 months,I saw a rheumatologist.The rheumatologist was sat at a desk in one room and asked me to take my shoes off while I sat in a chair.All info had been sent by my GP's but the rheumatologist was somehow surprised to hear from me about my current pain and disability, so quickly referred to the info on screen (obviously not familiarised with my history)..After briefly looking at my swollen joint, the rheumatologist realised they ought to better examine it..So got me to walk(hobble) in bare feet to the bed in the next room! The rheumatologist thought they knew my diagnosis. I was sent for Xray and MRI..Many weeks later at my follow up appointment,the rheumatologist was so satisfied for having known what the MRI result would be and I was diagnosed with a mild condition, that even unqualified me thought 'surely this isn't all to do with that'!.The rheumatologist wanted to quickly dismiss me.I was dumbfounded! As by now I had lost all mobility in the joint,I was in constant extreme pain and barely able to walk..The rheumatologist didn't want to examine me again and so I insisted they look at my joint(again I was only sat in chair and stayed in it)I explained how much worse it was and that I had lack of mobility..I felt I was being humoured and I noticed that rheumatologist kept giving the nurse a look that said they were irritatitated but would play along..There was no refferal, no assistance, no nothing! Just off you go..But because I questioned the diagnosis in view of my deteriorating condition the rheumatologist thought it best to offer me something, and that was CBT! For help with coming to terms with your lot,Thanks, but I'd just like help with my mobility and some answers!!.The rheumatologist had done their little bit so didn't seem to care that it had got much worse since I had been seen previously,But they just wanted me gone so they could tick the box,Done!..Next!

In the year, I have since seen a rheumatologist at a different hospital and had other tests to determine my condition,which I am told by the different rheumatologist and physiotherapist that it has nothing to do with what the Lancaster rheumatologist had diagnosed,that was only a symptom of something else,and it requires other appointments and a multidisciplinary approach.

Had I not seeked to get help elsewhere I would have been left in limbo.

I worry for others especially the elderly who may be inclined to accept what they are told by rheumatologists or other healthcare professionals who operate in this way.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Royal Lancaster Infirmary

We are really sorry that your experience at our hospital wasn't what you would expect and are really keen to investigate and respond directly to you. We would really appreciate it if you could contact our Patients Relations Team on 01539 716621 to allow us to investigate further.

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