"Timeframe to see a doctor when a procedure hasn't worked"

About: Queen's Medical Centre

(as the patient),

This is a tip for patients who are to have a procedure that may, or may not, be effective, due to the uncertain nature of their condition:-

Make sure that you have a clear understanding of the possible different timeframes to see a doctor according to the outcome; (i.e. normal if it does work, sooner if it doesn't).

I've resorted to 'Pain Management' at the Nottingham City Hospital, as the various 'Spinal' physicians at the Nottingham QMC still can't identify where my pain is coming from.

As pain killers haven't really been working for me, an Epidural was suggested, which I had.

When the procedure was being performed, I understood that if it worked, it could give pain relief for up to 3 months. So, it seemed reasonable that an appointment be scheduled for 3 months hence, at that time. (I was also given an emergency contact, in case I suffered any immediate discomfort from the procedure).

But, as my mind was 'somewhat focussed' on the Epidural itself, I didn't check when I'd see the doctor if it didn't.

I duly waited a little more than the quoted 10-12 days for any benefit to be realised - none.

So, I phoned the Pain Management Clinic, to get a message to the doctor to declare no benefit from the Epidural, and to check when I might get an appointment, expecting that to be sooner than the 3 month appointment that had already been booked for me.

Imagine my surprise to be told oh no there are certainly no appointments any sooner than the one you already have.

Rather annoyed by what seemed a terse statement from the receptionist, I insisted that something more immediate should be done, sooner than the appointment still some 10 weeks away.

I was, reluctantly, told that I could discuss my situation with a pain nurse - on the telephone it was then checked when I could have an appointment for that telephone call.

That appointment would be in over 2 weeks time, just to talk to the nurse.

When I received that pre-booked call, we discussed my condition, and apart from saying that they would advise the doctor that the Epidural hadn't worked, and suggest that I be fitted in sooner, the nurse would also arrange for me to visit their Acupuncture clinic, for which, I was told there shouldn't be a long waiting list.

Imagine my surprise again when I received a copy of the letter to my GP practice, explaining the call, but with no indication that anything would happen until my appointment with the pain management doctor, although that might be earlier than scheduled, if they can bring it forward.

I'm still waiting, hopefully, (or is it hopelessly), for an earlier appointment.

So, basically, unless I suddenly get a surge of attention from the hospital, I'll have had no benefit from the NHS for nearly 6 months, apart from being stabbed in the back - literally.

No wonder my pain has not been resolved over the last 30 months,

I do hope others fair better than me...

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