"Chaotic, confusing and I felt relieved my empoyer..."

About: Watford General Hospital

What I liked

I was referred to Watford after my GP discovered I had a large ovarian cyst. In terms of securing the first appointment, that was done quite promptly, however the cracks started to show there after unfortunately.

The gynaecologist who saw me was certainly personable and after examination believed it was a cyst and not a fibroid, recommending me for an ultrasound, and blood test - which is common place - of which I was to report back to them in a weeks time to discuss treatment options.

Off I trot to x-rays to secure the ultrasound, and despite showing them the 1 week time frame indicated by the consultant, they were very reluctant, or showed any sense of willingness to help. It was a case of wait and see - fortunately they were able to fit me in. I then went back to secure my follow up appointment, which the receptionist advised me that the consultant was on holiday, and that wouldnt be possible. The person who conducted my ultrasound was very pleasant, and had the best intentions, despite not finding my liver, and getting their peer to come in and check. So, I am back to see the gynaecologist, but the reception tell me I am booked in to see the registrar - despite the gynae themselves explicitly saying that i was to see them. We ask, the volunteer at the desk, they dont know anything. After a long wait, I see the registrar, clearly bright, but completely out of their depth and their lack of experience was demonstrated in theirconfidence and manner with me.

Blood test showed my CY 125 markers were up - they immediately jumped to suggesting cancer and checking for something sinister. Note, markers were marginally up, and it's very common with endometriosis, yet this possibility was never explained. After a fraught interaction, the gynae who I was meant to see in the first place is called in. After hearing I had private insurance, they immediately gave me the details of a peer and without officially saying it - do yourself a favour and go private!

What could be improved

- better systems accross the departments so that they could work together

- consistency of care, if the gynaecologist says I am to see them, and I book an appointment with them, especially after the first set of tests, don't then schedule me with the registrar

- experienced staff, with the right support. The registrar was completely inexperienced and it showed, and in the end I ended up seeing the gynae anyway

- removing the constant back and forth, after leaving the registrar and going home, they then called me because they needed me to fill in some forms and have another blood test, of which I had to drive back to the hospital


Anything else?

Whilst the patient has to take responsibility for their health, it is not their responsibility to navigate the infrastructure of the hospital. They need to felel ensured that their medical professionals are in control. - in order to have confidence - and they are in the best hands. I felt it was very chaotic.

My mum had breast cancer and was treated at Chase Farm, and had a fabulous experience, but our interpretation is that the leadership by the lead consultant is much stronger that what is currently taking place at the clinic Watford Gynaecology. In addition, I felt that the staff ( who were clearly bright) were almost set up to fail, as in the basic systems / structure / staff werent talking to each other and, thus working towards a single end point.

Story from NHS Choices


Response from Watford General Hospital

Thankyou for offering your comments of your experience at Watford General. Any patient feedback, particularly that of which is constructive, is much appreciated.

The importance of a wholly positive patient experience is one of the Trust’s key objectives. Although we cannot comment here without full details of your case and wish to maintain your patient confidentiality, we know that our senior clinical colleagues will want to investigate this thoroughly on your behalf.

Therefore we can assure you that if you would like to contact us formally through the Trust’s Quality Assurance department at wherts-tr.complaintsteam@nhs.net, we would welcome the opportunity to thoroughly investigate these concerns on your behalf, and provide you with a detailed response to each of the issues raised.

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