I'm not happy with the treatment I've had from the NHS, especially over the past 12 months and I wondered if I could or if it was worth complaining. I know about PALS but they said if I could only complain about a single doctor and complaints about GP were dealt with in a different way to complaints about hospital doctors and I need to complain about ALL of them!
I was diagnosed with Reactive Arthritis in August 2009. I was given a steroid injection and sent home from hospital. I was not given any information about my condition although I was seen at a general outpatients clinic twice although nothing else was done.
I had further flares and kept going back to the GPs. They treated me with painkillers and offered no other advice. I was having a lot of infections, Dr T blamed it on me having ME. He told me to exercise more, find a purpose in life and stay away from doctors, especially specialists. It is against NICE guidelines to advise patients with ME to exercise more without proper monitoring.
I had another flare and begged to see a rheumy. The rheumy said because there was no deformation of my joints there was nothing he could do. He sent me back to my GP to find out why I kept getting infections that triggered the arthritis.
My GP referred me to Dr S at the infectious diseases clinic. He could do nothing for me because there was nothing wrong with my immune system. He referred me to Dr E at immunology but Dr E REFUSED to see me because there was nothing wrong with my immune system according to the test results.
I had another flare and a GP Dr A prescribed naproxen for 2 weeks. This did nothing and I ended up on tramadol and gabapentin for the pain. I went back to see Dr A and he REFUSED to refer me to a rheumy and said I needed to take a herbal supplement to balance my system.
I complained to the practice manager who persuaded DR A to refer me to DR L. An appointment was made for me to see Dr L but he cancelled it because he doesn't deal with "chronic fatigue".
I complained again and I had to do my own research to find a doctor who dealt with reactive arthritis. The PCT agree to send me to Dr M in Norwich. Visiting him cost me around £200 in travelling expenses but it was worth it because in 10 minutes he diagnosed with Palindromic Rheumatism and proposed treating me with hydroxychloroquine.
I have suffered in terrible pain for 13 months and have paid a small fortune in prescriptions when all it took was 10 minutes with the right doctor to diagnosed me and give me a treatment plan. Best of all I am still waiting to be treated because I have to wait for Dr M to write to my GP and then my GP has to refer me to a rheumy who agrees with Dr M's diagnoses and treatment plan for me to even get a prescription for the drugs I need.
I am not a happy bunny. Is there anyone I can complain to? Will it make the slightest bit of difference?