"Thankfully there are 2 rheumys. Shame only one is..."

About: Torbay Hospital

What I liked

I was seen urgently when it was needed

What could be improved

The first rheumatologist I saw appeared not to have read my notes and did not appear to realise that I had ankylosing spondylitis. Without recourse to investigations declared I had no signs of inflammatory arthritis and "only" had fibromyalgia. This was the same rheumatologist who saw me 15 years ago with a diagnosis of ankylosing spondylitis when he first came to Torbay, and discharged me from the care of the rheumatogy dept. I had to pay for a second opinion whereupon AS was found with the aid of MRI scans. Luckily this rheumatologist listened, examined me, and ordered tests! I have severe AS with my spine fused in many places and a fused chest. I am in constant severe pain. My GP's accepted his diagnosis without question, the same GP's who were dosing me with huge doses of opiates, (100mcgs fentanyl + morphine) and then diagnosed me with chronic fatigue, forgetting opiates make you sleepy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I saw the first rheumatologist just 2 months after being diagnosed with cfs, he quite visibly glazed over when he realised I been told I had chronic fatigue. He appeared to want me out of the consulting room as fast as possible. Thank god there are two rheumatologists at Torbay!

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Torbay Hospital

Dear Patient, We are very sorry to hear about your experience and that the standard of your care fell below that which we strive to provide. We would like the opportunity to discuss your experience with you and try our best to resolve it. If you are happy to talk to us about this, please contact our Patient Advice & Liaison Service (PALS) so they can look into your situation in more detail. A PALS Officer is available in person, Monday to Friday, between 10.00am and 2.00pm. You can contact them by calling 01803 655838 or on our 24 hour freephone number 0800 02 82 037. If you get through to the voicemail service please leave your contact details and you will receive a call back within two working days. PALS can also be contacted by Text Phone on 01803 654742, by FAX on 01803 617162, or via email to sdhc@nhs.net (your email will go direct to our PALS Service). We look forward to hearing from you so that we can address the issues you have raised.

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