About: Chelsea & Westminster Hospital

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I was taken to the hospital with a debilitating pain in the belly that made me faint. This looked serious to me because I very rarely complain about physical pain even though I experienced some acute pain after an accident.

There was obviously no clear procedure to make a diagnosis. Nurses came to ask all the same questions again and again even though I was shivering because of the pain and could barely talk. They started basic tests (blood, urine, pressure, etc) which showed nothing but signs of inflammation (blood marker and temperature). They tried to dismiss me early and took me back as I fainted again. I felt one of the nurses almost meant "come on, go home and stop whining".

When they say they could not decently send me home, they started searching randomly for the cause of my suffering. I said it might be a kidney stone so they did a CTI after 4 hours. My gynecologist had warned me against ectopic pregnancy so they tested that too. Every time they discarded a potential cause (ectopic pregnancy, kidney stone), they presented this as good news even though it actually meant they had still no clue which I found worrying.

The search was not systematic but along random directions which I had given, and did not seem to be properly supervisor by anyone else than a nurse. At some point they felt they had put enough efforts into my case, they sent me back home with pain killers even though my condition had not improved (except that the pain killers were covering up the pain). They refused to do an ultrasound scan because they had no other sign suggested that should be done. Scans are a relatively cheap and safe way to detect anomalies like cysts, not only to confirm ones suspected through another diagnosis. But no. The nurses were programmed to say no.

I had also a bad experience when I brought my daughter with clear signs of a whooping cough. She had not sleept for 2 nights and was absolutely exhausted. They said it could not be a whooping cough because she had been immunised, even though the BBC had articles about numerous cases of whooping cough developed in spite of immunisation. They just sent my daughter home without any medication, not even steroids to allow her to have proper nights of sleep again.

I feel in either case we were let down by NHS.

Having experienced public medical care in other European countries where public medical care was always good, I went to NHS in spite of warnings of friends which I felt were a bit snob to only go to expensive private consultants. Now I am sorry to say I fully understand why.

The quality of NHS care is absolutely appalling and not up to Western standards (except cleanlines and politeness of personnel, which is a bit short). Apparently, the role of the doctors is to never be seen and only to defend against patients' legitimate needs the integrity of the war chest of the NHS trust. Keep the pills in the chest and never give them away.

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Response from Chelsea & Westminster Hospital

‘Thank you for taking the time to post your comments. This is not the experience that we aim to provide at Chelsea and Westminster NHS Trust and we would like to apologise for that. It would be helpful to discuss the issues you raised, in order to investigate and respond to both of the events mentioned. Please contact our PALS Manager, Sian Nelson on 0203 315 8548

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