Hello everyone and welcome back to my little corner of Arthur’s Place.
Thank Lottie it’s Friday, and in this week’s post I wanted to talk about something that I am very passionate about.
On Arthur’s Place Social on Facebook, I have noticed a lot of posts about what’s best to do if you feel your doctor is not listening to you, or not giving the appropriate care that you feel is needed. I myself went through a situation in 2012 when after months of begging and pleading for more pain control he flat out refused to treat me, and kicked me out of his clinic in front of the whole waiting room!
I felt abandoned and neglected and had no pain control or anything all though my first year of A level exams!
My whole family was furious, we were like a bull to a red rag, and scatter-gunned letters of complaint to anyone who would listen.
But in all of this mess and, in my view, total neglect, from someone who is meant to listen and care for your needs, I went from an awful doctor, (which I would call a category 1) to one of the world’s leading rheumatologists (category 9, ten being the highest!). So all in all it was a blessing in disguise.
I thought I would write a post along with the help of my mother Deborah on what we did when faced with a situation where the care you are receiving is not up to standard and how to change that.
Where to start?
When I was first kicked out we didn’t know where to start and it was all a bit scary. We were all ready to spit fire to be honest, but that was not the way to go about it.
Like I said before, we scatter-gunned to get our voices heard, meaning that we felt we needed to write to everyone about what was in our opinion a total lack of treatment and neglect.
As I was coming up to that golden age of 18, with the transition (or black hole as we call it) from paediatrics to adult health care looming, we were warned it would be a tricky time going through transition, but we felt totally abandoned at a frightening time.
Our first port of call was to write an official complaint to the Hospital, through PALS, and explained how we had been treated and how disgusted with the service we were and listed all the occasions where we were given inferior care.
This letter was also sent to the doctor, to his secretary and to the Primary Care Trust.
What happened next
It all went quiet for a bit, other than PALS contacting us after about two weeks – it all seemed to be dealt with behind the scenes. After about two to three months I had a letter through the door saying I was seeing a new Rheumatologist. To be honest with you I thought more should have happened in dealing with the doctor as nothing seemed to come about after we complained, other then a change of doctor.
What I would suggest
If you feel you are not receiving the care you need or not receiving the right care, then tell them!
You don’t have to tell the doctor directly; talk to the practice manager or talk to PALS first without making an official complaint, if you feel that they could help.
But there is absolutely no excuse for poor practice. They came into the profession to help people, not to fob them off by not listening or in a lot of cases, as I believe, because the meds are too expensive!
There’s always the other option of asking your GP if they can refer you elsewhere in your local area. Where I go now for treatment is not technically in my county, which can be a little bit of trouble trying to get blood test results to them and so on, but really is negligible considering I am receiving the best care I feel I can get.
So if you are not happy with your rheumy, then talk to someone about it because it’s your life that they are affecting. They don’t know how you feel, even if you feel like you’re repeating yourself and they’re not walking in your shoes.
Meet Charlotte and other friendly folk on Arthur’s Place Social, our Facebook Group
(Any opinions expressed in Charlotte’s blog are not necessarily shared by Arthur’s Place. Nothing that you read in Charlotte’s blog constitutes medical advice.)