"The NHS worked for me..."

About: Frenchay Hospital / Accident and emergency Frenchay Hospital / Neurology

(as the patient),

I went to A&E with dizziness and weakness in my hand which rapidly degenerated to double vision, weakness in my back and breathing and lack of control over my legs and a loss of reflexes. Two and a half weeks later, I have been successfully treated for a rare autoimmune disorder.

The neurology department at Frenchay were fast to recognise a varying array of symptoms to provide a preliminary diagnosis of the rare Guillain–Barré syndrome, where the immune system mistakenly attacks the peripheral nervous system. After an initial observation period, the treatment was swift and stopped the progression of the disorder in its tracks. This swift diagnosis and action prevented GBS from taking full grip (full body paralysis is typical). Due to the rate of deterioration, scans etc were prioritised for me and doctors gave up their break during lectures to facilitate nerve conductor tests, one consultant even took me to an MRI scan himself to ensure that it would take place in a timely fashion. My history was taken into account and a full battery of tests were run for tropical diseases.

The fact that I was discharged two and a half weeks later is testament to the early diagnosis and great efforts of the neurology team at Frenchay - the doctors and nurses alike. Areas for improvement would be improved staff coverage and consistent handover between shifts and improvement of cleaning services.

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