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"The NHS in Durham scares me!"

About: University Hospital Of North Durham

What I liked

Modern building... But as we can see, we cannot judge the book by its cover!

What could be improved

My Civil Partner has been ill since March 2011. That's 9 months!

After 9 months, countless visits to A&E, GP, referrals, Cardio, Gastro, Neurology, a positive diagnostic has not been made.

Basically, the NHS Hospital of Durham does not know what is wrong with him. And despite symptoms which are severe enough to impact on his ability to have a normal...ish life, work, etc, the symptoms have been treated [ not to much effect, I must say... ] but the Hospital is not able to think out of the box and realise it needs to step up diagnostic tools and/or types of tests to get to the root cause of the problem, not just the symptoms.

Clearly, there is something wrong. Clearly just ECG, blood test, urine test and an ultrasound [ for which I had to "fight" and suggest about a million times!], the problem remains. These tests have been useful to find out and confirm some of the symptoms, but are not good enough to determine the root cause of the health problem.

Result?... We are more or less at the same point we were back in March 2011. So no treatment, because no clear diagnostic has been made.

So he continues to suffer from a combination of factors:

1. The health problem itself, of course.

2. The stress of not knowing whay really is wrong with him.

3. The nuisance of being dismissed on a number of occasions as anxiety. The hospital fails to realise that the anxiety is being generated by his health problem and the hospital inability to get it right and therefore his apparent anxiety is NOT the root of the problem.

Thus, I would expect the Hospital to get its act together and do the job proper, ie get the tests as necessary to determine what the problem is, thenm get the treatment he needs.

Isn't this what hospital are there for?!... So how come after 9 months, NHS University of North Durham Hospital has not been able to nail this down?

Horrendous this, really. I am horrified!

Anything else?

The case really needs the Hospital to get its act together. It is that simple.

My Civil Partner has not yet been assessed thoroughly, after 9 months and I find it that even though I suggested other tests, my view was dismissed, presumably because I am not a doctor. Well I am not, but being a Systems Engineer, I am able to think out of the box, something the Hospital is failing to do. Clearly if tests so far done have not determined what is wrong, further and more specialised tests have to be done.

Basically, if the patient is sick, the Hospital has to pursue whatever means are necessary to determine the root cause and then treat it accordingly. One does not need to be a doctor to realise this.

Also, telling the patient it is all down to anxiety is just not helpful. If there is anxiety, that is not the root cause, it is the result of 9 months of mishandling and what amounts in my opinion, to some degree of negligence in taking ownership proper, rather than looking at patients as just "another one".

My Civil Partner is ill, something is not right and I expect this Hospital to do better than it has done so far. I am sorry but 9 months of this nightmare is simply not acceptable.

Story from


Response from University Hospital Of North Durham

Dear Anonymous,

Thank you for providing feedback on your civil partner's ongoing experience at University Hospital of North Durham.

I am very sorry to hear that are unhappy with how his care is progressing.

We would welcome the opportunity to discuss your concerns with you or your partner. If you feel this would be useful please contact the Trust’s Patient Experience Team on 0800 7835774. If you would prefer to contact us by e-mail, our address is

Alternatively, you can write to us at the following address: -

Patient Experience Team

Darlington Memorial Hospital

Hollyhurst Road


County Durham


If you do decide to contact us, please make us aware that you have left comments on the NHS Choices website.

The Trust is grateful for all feedback, positive or negative, as it means we can better understand what is important to our patients.

Thank you for leaving your comments on NHS Choices.

Patient Experience Team

Tel: 0800 7835774

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