Making a complaint against a hospital

I've posted on here before about the issues I've had with a large hospital in Manchester.

long story very short, the first doctor I saw didn't read my referral letter or my notes and spent the entire time looking at her pager answering the phone and then told I was depressed and my symptoms were nothing to do with my thyroid, I had ME.

The second time I went in October on arrival I was told there was no clinic, it was cancelled when I got upset and my husband challenged it it transpired all the doctors were at a conference and no one had cancelled appointments. Anyway I got seen and was told bloods would be taken and my T3, FT3 would be checked... Result

the doctor stated he would get back to me in a couple of weeks with the results...... I'm still waiting! I've rung up numerous times, my GP has rung, my nurse has rung... We've all been fobbed off..

I rang again yesterday and was told yet again that the secretary would either write or ring me.. so I said tell me what is on the computer, after a very long pause (I actually thought she'd put the phone down) she said Nothing, there is nothing on the computer about any T3 tests.

Not that I'm paranoid but that suggests the doctor was either paying me lip service, it's been lost or it showed I needed T3 and as he stated he didn't believe in T3 it's been purposely lost!

I'm furious and I've fired of a 3 page letter of complaint about the registrars (I've never managed to see a consultant!) Everything that's happened and the way I've been treated. I've also put several quotes in from the patients chapter.

Most worrying is this is an Endo clinic how many more hashies/hypothyroid patients have had this sort of poor treatment and kept quiet. I could have had several months of feeling better by now, had I got the T3 back in October

12 Replies

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  • Hello,

    Firstly let me say that I sympathise entirely with your situation having been there myself in relation to both my husband and my daughter, but I regret to tell you that after following all the correct procedures very correctly and courteously and visiting my MP who wrote letters himself, I found in the end that in our part of England (North Devon) all local GP's and hospital endos closed ranks, had private meetings with hospital administrators and we were totally shut out and helpless.

    That being said you might want to follow the advice here thyroiduk.org.uk/tuk/NHS_In...

    The thing you must remember above all is that your main focus here should be on getting well.

    Don't waste your precious energy on beating your head against a wall. Some of the measures above may work for you, and indeed they do for some people, but if they are not working then maybe it is time to change course and take charge of your own health. This is what we had to do, but it took us several wasted years to realise that we would get no help from the NHS at all. We have not been to our GP for over 6 years as we know there will be no assistance from that quarter.

    You may find that your best solution is to go private and visit one of Thyroid UK's recommended doctors thyroiduk.org.uk/tuk/diagno...

    I know that your treatment by the hospital has been deplorable, but maybe you should focus on yourself getting better and not on trying to make them do their job properly. I wish you all the luck in the world and hope that whatever you decide to do it works out well for you.

    Jane x

  • Hi Pettals,

    I went to the Endo, also at “a large hospital in Manchester”, a Professor no less, and I spent less than ten minutes with him, during which time he was more interested in turning and smirking at the medical student present. As you might expect, the opinion was “TSH fine, T4 fine, you’re fine”. He even suggested that I reduce my 150mcg of Levo to 125mcg, even though my symptoms are exhaustion, poor sleep, weight gain and general lethargy and I never used to feel like this before being diagnoses as hypo and treated with Levo.

    I made a complaint. No answer was the stern reply!

    Then my GP sent me to my local hospital, which is further away from my home than the first one, to see a named Endo. I was not seen by that Endo or anyone from her team. Again it’s a case of “TSH fine, T4 fine, you’re fine”.

    Do you think this “caring” approach is cut price euthanasia by the back door?

    No point in contacting my MP - she does nothing for anyone!

    Regards,

    B

  • I have to say that complaining about my local hospital proved fruitless in the end. My notes were so badly kept that they were unable to respond to any of the allegations I made. It was my word against theirs, they denied everything and I gave up in the end.

    My only small success is that there is now an A5 poster for the local BTF group hidden among all the diabetes materials. Before there was nothing at all.

    The best bit of their response was the haematologist who said I’d made it all up because I didn’t like the advice I’d been given!

    Next time (and there will be a next time) I shall go via my MP and the local paper.

    AN

  • Complain DIRECTLY TO GMC.

    Then at least, doctor will get out of his FOG...

    Yes, the hospital will cover for him.

    The're in together and you (patients) are the outsider if you complain.

    Good luck.

    Shame on a "big hospital" in Manchester!!

  • I have gone much further down the complaints route in the past than posters here have done, and found ZERO benefit, even though I "won" the the procedure. It was just a lot of grief, cost in small amounts of money and a serious amount of wasted time, and more being branded as some sort of nut-case.

    If you have some evidence of a serious issue, get to a solicitor and get money out of them but that's rare and unlikely, the burden of proof is pretty great; otherwise make sure they have it in writing, and move on, as it will produce no benefit to you.

    From other people's experience I am not over convinced that complaint to the GMC are any more use either!

    Just yesterday, a case was reported where a woman's husband died as a result of a negligent procedure, (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-21243911) and she was complaining that the GMC case was still no further on after THREE AND A HALF YEARS!

  • I'm in the same boat! 2.5 yr utter hell, immense distress, anguish, destruction and abuse they've subject me to...

    In summary, the monsters all back each other up. Complain and they sink their fangs into you further and prevent any access to anywhere no matter how sick and distressed you are. no matter what illnesses you aleady have. To add insult to injury they appear to have the freedom to write whatever mindless b***s*** and false persuasive statements in your medical notes, so the next sheep along the line, with an IQ of >5 and who can't think for themselves, take on the same stinking attitude.

    Also in my experience despite ample evidence of neglect and abuse, one is barricaded from getting justice no matter where one turns.

    One solicitor told me I have a 50% chance of winning a legal case, that's without a correct diagnosis BECAUSE I'm being denied access to correct diagnostics and services and having to face intimidation along the way.. 50% would have been 50% chance of regaining some quality of life, (of course some damage is irreversible now!) but 50% isn't good enough for solicitors but, how is one supposed to raise the odds when one is being barricaded, due to mind-set of ignorant, uncaring, inhumane medics!

    The NHS constitution state no patient is to be subject to inhuman or degrading treatment, quoting article 3 of the human rights act, article 3 covers both physical and psycholgical inhumane treatment including abuse..

    I wrote to the department of health asking them to confirm, is this correct that no patient is to be sbject to ANY amount of abuse in any way. Also asking them what measures are in place to prevent further abuse when one is attempting to rectify issues. They avoided my question, completely and just give me details of the nhs complaints procedure...which i never asked for. Anyone who wants to see their reply and my letter, just ask me.

    I've wrote again stating this didn't answer my question and still await their response.

  • That meant to read IQ <5 (less than 5)....jeeze what was I thinking!

  • Unfortunately impossible to beat the 'System'. Time better spent going privately to Drs and trying to gain better health. Do not waste your time or energies on complaining , you will not win and just make yourself iller, not worth it. Take care.

  • I haven't been seen in a hospital but I know what I would do - post a review on their website! Don't actually name anyone but be as free as you like to express your dismay. Also, I would complain to the GMC - even if nothing comes of it the offending doctors are notified there has been a complaint so they might just learn something - that is that there are some people who will not tolerate anything less than what is a basic right. Just a personal opinion but I feel for you and everyone whos been in this I hope you get some resolution to your complaint. x x

  • This is where you can find the hospital ratings site.

    nhs.uk/services/hospitals/r...

  • Thank you for your help, advice and comments x

  • In my view the tide is turning. The General Medical Council (Licence to Practise and Revalidation) Regulations Order of Council 2012

    gmc-uk.org/LtP_and_Reval_Re...

    came in to force in December 2012.

    These Regulations require a doctor to be assessed every year and revalidated every 5 years. A major part of the assessment is how the doctor responded to complaints. Not being familiar with the history of complaints, I believe that this is a major step forward. What the doctor's assessor does is compare the doctor's performance against the standards set out in Good Medical Practice gmc-uk.org/guidance/good_me...

    An effective complaint does the assessors work for them. I recommend these steps.

    whenever you go to the doctor, make notes of what was said and happened. there is nothing to stop you writing down all this as it happens in the surgery. you can also make notes just after the consultation. The nearer to time things happen that notes are made, the more accurate they will be. you can use these notes to refer to if you make a complaint. In future, I will use my smartphone to record the consultation. if you make notes during the consultation, the doctor will be more careful about what s/he says.

    Also, if at all possible, please take someone else with you. This is so that you have a witness to what happened in he surgery. Having a witness is likely to make the doctor behave better and more importantly, you have a witness to what happened. That person can corroborate your version of events.

    Write down what the doctor did or didn't do or say. (e.g. doctor I saw didn't read my referral letter or my notes and spent the entire time looking at her pager answering the phone)

    Then look at Good Medical Practice and its supplements (e.g. "Consent" give a description of the model consultation, there are a number of supplements).

    Work out which part of GMP the bad practice comes into (e.g. para 21 of GMP states To fulfil your role in the doctor-patient partnership you must:

    a. be polite, considerate and honest

    b. treat patients with dignity

    c. treat each patient as an individual

    Then state how this affected you e.g. (humiliated,angry, lost trust medical profession, you are still suffering because of the doctors lack of professionalism)

    Then state what you want to change (doctor to give you/other patients her undivided attention in future)

    then put this in a letter to your doctor in the structured way described above.

    Then state that your letter must go in the doctors file of evidence for assessment and revalidation

    Then state that you want a written reply within 10 working days.

    You could add that failure to respond satisfactorily will result in a complaint to the GMC.

    To ensure that the doctor doesn't file you letter in the bin send a copy to the PCT (or after April the Clinical Commissioning Group) and state that the PCT/CCG has been copied in to this letter.

    Be prepared to go further that the doctor. I know from personal experience that the surgery will close ranks and talk rubbish about "This is mainstream practice".

    I feel that now complaining is a very useful tool. Attitudes are the hardest things to change and they don't change overnight but unless we make proper structured complaints, they never will.

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