"Better treatment from a vet"

About: The Royal Victoria Infirmary

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I was referred to the neurology department at the RVI in March 2010, as I had requested a second opinion, due to the consultant at my local hospital having to discuss my case at the weekly regional meeting because a diagnosis was proving elusive for my condition. Symptoms presented in January 2010. Both my husband and I work in the NHS in senior positions in our respective fields of pharmacy and midwifery. Never before have we been so patronised and insulted by a consultant as we were on meeting our supposed expert. To be informed we "had done our homework on the internet" when we challenged the proposed drug regime was insulting enough. When we asked what my prognosis was, to be informed "I don't know what this is, so we'll just have to wait and see what happens. If you return in 6 months we'll do some more tests" I was told I would need monthly contrast MRI scans to monitor the growth of the lesion, however, since March 2010, I have had 4, the last being in December 2011. My GP was unable to request the scan's as I was under medical care. In January 2012, after a 3min 24sec appointment, I was firstly shown the wrong scan, when mine was shown, I informed the Dr it was a plain scan as they had omitted to request contrast and the radiographer refused to do one without the form, no apology was forthcoming. Just a sarcastic comment about my ability to read scans. Neither was an explanation given as to why I had not had monthly scans as prescribed? I was informed I would be seen again in a year, if I was still here! It transpires that I do have an unusual form of lesion, of which few have survived in the UK. Due to illness, I was unable to attend clinic in January 2013. I duly notified the dept. and was informed I would be placed on the next available clinic list. Miraculously, I am still here, but more worryingly my appointment date is for November 2013, 22 months after I was last seen! We have no faith whatsoever in the consultant, who has been dismissive and patronising. Had I spoken to any of my patients and treated them with such disdain, I would have been struck off the register. All my husband and I have wanted is a confirmed diagnosis, with a prognosis in order to plan ahead. As it is, I have a brain lesion, with no knowledge of it's origin or whether there may be more forming, now or in the future. I wake each day and give thanks, one day I will not. Is it really too much to ask that doctors today consider their patients as individuals with lives instead of numbers on the production line. My GP has been absolutely fantastic throughout this whole saga, and is as equally frustrated as I am and totally perplexed at this thorough lack of medical concern. I shan't be wasting any more of my time with this uncaring individual.

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Response from The Royal Victoria Infirmary

Thank you for taking the time to post your comments on NHS Choices website. We would like to apologise that your experience of the Neurology Department did not meet the standard of care that we would expect to provide to our patients. We are extremely concerned about the comments you raise. Unfortunately as your feedback has been posted anonymously we are unable to investigate or comment on your individual case. In order for us to investigate further and provide you with an individual response, please contact us on the number below. We can also discuss with you whether you would be willing to receive a second opinion from another Neurologist in the Trust. For a more detailed investigation and response into the issues that you have reported on this website, please contact Mr. Paul Anderson, Patient Relations Manager or Paula Coulson, Matron Neurosciences on 0191 2336161.

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