"Trying to get someone to help me get this illness sorted out"

About: NHS Tayside Ninewells Hospital

(as the patient),

I have spent sixteen years of my life trying to get a diagnosis for an illness that started after a major operation in 1994. I have seen over 70 doctors . Mistakes have been made in my diagnosis which was confirmed by the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman, however years on i am still trying to fight this. The SPSO claims to be impartial and independent but I feel they were negotiating with the very people that i was complaining about. They were on first name terms.

I am tired and worn down and so disheartened. I have lost sixteen years of my life doing this. Doctors appear to be telling me one thing and then they change their minds. I have seen some doctors who I feel have been rude and arrogant,lazy and dismissive.

Last week I attended an appointment in Edinburgh. I took 8 buses and spent 12 hours travelling to get to that appointment. It was a second opinion and I only saw the doctor that I had asked to see for a minute. There were no notes and there was very little on the NHS database. I had waited months for this appointment as the first appointment letter had gone to an old address. My G.P. had written very little and so I had to tell this story yet again.

Another example was that I have been bleeding from the bowel since 1994. Again a sample had come back positive. On top of this I have had severe abdominal pain for over two years. I went to my G.P. and he gave me peppermint oil! I also needed to ask him about swelling around my eye and he told me he didn't have time to deal with it!

Another example was that I had had a chest X ray and I was told that I had a very enlarged heart. I was told this by a G.P. and a cardiologist. I had always been told that my heart was ok. I queried this and when I went back to see the cardiologist he did a U turn and said there was nothing wrong. No explanation..nothing. I was in his office for less than four minutes.

These are only a few of many, many examples of the way that I have been treated. I have kept a diary since 2002 and it is shocking to read. Lost notes, missing notes, non referrals, appointments that never come and tests that haven't been done properly.

I have written to the press, Members of Parliament, patients association etc in an effort to get someone to help me. I don't feel as I am getting any help. I no longer know who to trust. The irony is that I am a qualified nurse myself.

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Response from NHS Tayside

NHS Tayside are very sorry to hear of all the efforts you are taking to get someone to help you and the experiences you have had. The SPSO is 'free, independent and impartial' and is the final stage for handling complaints about public services in Scotland and as your concerns have been investigated by the Ombudsman it would be inappropriate to comment further.

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