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"Very disappointed, upset and let down"

About: The Great Western Hospital

What I liked

I like the waiting area and the speed to have my X-ray.

What could be improved

After three months of waiting to see a consultant I would have expected to actually see one. I didn't. Two doctors at my surgery had pleaded for my orthopaedic consultan t(who had performed surgery on me and knew me well) to see me at a matter of urgency due to my level of pain and the fact that as a self-employed individual I can ill afford to miss working hours.

Not only I did not see a consultant but the registrar -who eventually saw me identified themselves by their first name only and asked me to put on a gown. I was in room with a curtain where I could hear next door's consultation and they could hear mine. The registrar did not know anything about me. Since my severe sciatica attack in July I had been attending private physiotherapy and paid for an MRI to be able to show it to my surgeon to facilitate the diagnosis and not to waste any more time. It was a pointless exercise. When I was about to leave I asked for the MRI CD and the radiologist's report back and a nurse told me that they were keeping the CD to update my records. I was flabbergasted. They did not asked, they took it! The registrar told me the options I had but I have lost my trust in the service and I am a t a loss on what to do next. If I had had to cancel my appointment i would have had to notify the hospital -out of common courtesy to others and the staff. What a shame that the same did not apply to me being told there was no guarantee I woud be seen by a consultant, let alone the one who knew of my condition.

Anything else?

I was given a questionnaire to fill in about Choice. It was mesmerising. I would suggest you refrain from asking patients to fill in something that has no relevance whatsoever and it seems a waste of time and money. There is no choice to be had in Swindon at least, nor for hospital, treatment or doctors. You cannot even have a private area for a consultation! We are not customers. We are human beings in pain and suffering and who need to feel like someone cares.

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Response from The Great Western Hospital

Thank you for your feedback and I am sorry that you felt you had a poor experience whilst visiting our hospital. Our Patient Advice and Liaison Team would be happy to look into this in more detail for you. They can be contacted on 01793 604031 or by e-mail at We have a committment to treat patients within 18 weeks following referral from a GP and we perform well against this national target treating many patients before 18 weeks. I have shared your feedback with the Clinical Lead for Orthopaedics who will share it with the team that looked after you. On our appointment letters, we inform patients that they may be seen by a member of the Consultant's team. Although you may not see the Consultant, our clinics are Consultant led and your case and clinical plan will have been discussed and agreed with the Consultant in advance of the clinic to ensure high standards of clinical care.

  • {{helpful}} {{helpful == 1 ? "person thinks" : "people think"}} this response is helpful