But then, based on my own experiences, I already knew that.
According to Pulse, today, though:-
“The BMA is launching a major investigation into the psychological effect of rising patient complaints on doctors, in order to assess the professional and personal repercussions on the profession.”
Seriously? How bloody self-obsessed is that? What about the patients, whose lives are being trashed by inept doctors?
If patients complain about doctors, they usually have a bloody good reason for doing so, as I did, yet the only result was for me to be branded a trouble-maker and saddled with a consultant who falls so far below what I consider to be acceptable standards I see no point in ever seeing him again.
So never mind the effects on doctors, BMA, what about the effects on patients, whose lives are put at risk when doctors get it wrong? Which, in my experience, they do far too often.
This is my experience (apologies to those who already know this):-
January 2011 – admitted to Arrowe Park Hospital with severe respiratory infection. Two separate doctors promise to prescribe effective analgesia – it never arrives. Nor is either decision entered in my records – I have a copy.
Another doctor tells me to discontinue using the nebuliser, as the Salbutamol is aggravating my tachycardia (175bpm at the time). This wasn’t recorded either, leaving me to argue with nursing staff three times a day that I’d been told not to use the nebuliser.
I was, while there, diagnosed with severe heart failure and – can you see a pattern here? – this wasn’t entered in my records either, the fuck-uppery resulting from which has been reported in detail here (see the Chronicles of the Heart series of posts).
Eventually I got to see a consultant cardiologist. By that time I was so ill that getting to the hospital was a major undertaking. The consultant scheduled a series of diagnostic tests. Some required me to be at the hospital either very early or very late on successive days. This was impossible (already covered in detail). Some of the tests I considered too dangerous, especially as there were safer ways of obtaining the same information, so I declined.
The consultant, at that point, even though there was much that could still have been done for me, effectively vanished, failing to answer letters justifiably asking what the hell was going on.
So I lodged an official complaint. This was prejudged, by email, before it ever got near official channels. I did eventually get a formal reply, which I didn’t even bother opening – there was no point.
I was assigned to a new consultant who prescribed a highly dangerous drug, having convinced me, against my better judgement, that it was safe. He prescribed it at double the recommended dose for heart failure, and despite my initially feeling better, it very soon wreaked havoc on my health, making me very much worse than I had been before I took it.
I am now, after long illness, taking it at a quarter of the dose he prescribed,** at which level it keeps my chronic tachycardia under control. I am still, however, profoundly ill, and it is now over two months since I’ve been able to go out.
**It’s clear, with hindsight, that he prescribed purely on the basis of my hypertension, utterly ignoring my heart failure and calcified aortic valve – a combination which is killing me.
So, BMA, never mind the doctors, who probably wouldn’t be distressed by patients’ complaints if they weren’t actually the cause of them in the first bloody place.
What about that patients?
Who speaks for us?