"Good 1st visit with own consultant, appalling 2nd..."

About: Southport & Formby District General Hospital

What I liked

There are some consultants who are very good, and take the time to talk to you and ask questions about how you are, how you've been and look at all of your medical history. They then respond by ordering the most appropriate tests for your complaint and take the time to explain what the tests are. The two doctors who dealt with me prior to my last appointment I had in August were very caring, considerate and respectful. They listened to my concerns and were understanding when it came to dealing with my pain.

What could be improved

On my first initial visit there were no problems, everything was dealt with in an efficient manner, On my second visit, everything could have been improved. Continuity is extremely important when dealing with a patient. If the doctor you have been seeing for months is for some reason unavailable, and you as a patient have a complex medical history, then care from your consultant should continue where possible. Obviously there are times when this is not possible, such as illness, emergencies, holidays and leaving the department. However, patients as part of continuity of care should be told in advance that their doctor is unavailable and should be given the option of changing the visit date, or if they're happy with the replacement doctor, then that's fine also.However I do believe that you should be given a choice in the matter.

However if you are expecting to see your own consultant and instead get a person who does not know you, nor your medical history and hasn't even taken the courtesy of reading your notes before talking to you, then this is completely unacceptable behavior from an NHS Doctor. The replacement doctor/consultant I had could not be bothered reading my notes, completely ignored (or chose to ignore) the whole reason for my being there, Didn't read the correct scan results and fobbed me off to a different doctor and department and didn't explain any of the results of my tests (which was my whole reason for attending). I am now no longer able to discuss my results and concerns with the doctor whom had been treating me for 5 months. The doctor who dealt with me on that particular date, should not be seeing patients if he is unable to do a simple job of passing on test results to patients, or have an understanding of why they are there in the first place. Replacement physician should also take the time to read the patients own scan results and not those of a different patient without even spotting the error.

Anything else?

I do wonder if anyone monitors the doctors work and if they're held accountable. If not, they should be told to provide a short synopsis on each patient after clinic

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Response from Southport & Formby District General Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to tell us about your experience. We can only improve our services when patients tell us how they found their care. We would very much like to investigate this further and would be grateful if you would take the time to contact us by emailing soh-tr.complaints@nhs.net or telephoning our customer care team on 01704 704958.