"Feeling judged without being seen first."

About: The Townsville Hospital

(as the patient),

After contracting viral and bacterial meningitis over 4 years ago, after a rat related injury, I was left with no abnormal bladder function leaving me to spend the rest of my life with an SPC, (supapubic catheter). After losing over 20 kgs, leaving me with my tummy sitting over my SPC causing extreme pain and discomfort. My doctor wrote a referral to a cosmetic surgeon. Weeks later I received a letter from the surgeon saying he would not see me. without seeing me and talking to me. My doctor then wrote a new referral to a general surgeon. My issue being that I have been waiting for over 12 months now just to speak to someone about my suffering. this is now causing stress and meant I am back on pain relief just to function. I don't choose this situation, what I did choose was to lose the weight I had put on to gain a better quality of life and to be more comfortable, what I got was the opposite.

I feel that I have been judged before I have even seen anyone.

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Responses

Response from Julie Shepherd, Nurse Manager Patient Experience, Patient Services; Clinical Governance Directorate, Townsvillle Hospital and Health Services

Dear Suffering,

Thank you for taking the time to share your story and please know that I am very sorry to hear of your stress and pain and especially your feeling of being judged.

I have shared your story with a senior executive staff member in our surgical department who has advised they would like an opportunity to explore your circumstances further.

To help us determine if we can provide you with assistance I would encourage you to please contact our staff in our Patient Liaison Service directly on 44331074.

Once again, I am sorry that you have had this experience with our service and I would like you to know that hearing stories such as yours helps us to highlight areas where we may need to improve.

With kind regards,

Julie Shepherd

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Update posted by Suffering (the patient)

I am slowly lossing faith in our medical and mental health system. I will make that call in the morning. But Im not sure what a Patient Liasion person can do. I dont hold out much hope of getting help.

Response from Julie Shepherd, Nurse Manager Patient Experience, Patient Services; Clinical Governance Directorate, Townsvillle Hospital and Health Services

Dear Suffering,

Thank you for your reply. Please know that we take feedback seriously and are really keen to determine if we can provide you with assistance.

I have spoken with our Nurse Manager of Patient Liaison Services this afternoon, who stated she is looking forward to receiving your call in the morning and will do all she can to explore your situation further.

With kind regards,

Julie Shepherd

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Update posted by Suffering (the patient)

Wow, my faith in the System, well maybe just the medical side to date is restored for now. I am very grateful to the Patient Liaison officer I have just been on the phone to. She has done her research and spoken to everyone involved in my case so far to gain the information relevant to my case. I have an appointment middle next month with those involved in my care now. I am feeling heard and positive that maybe I will be able to get the surgery I need to help make my quality of life a little more comfortable. My health story is much more complicated than just the physical pain of losing weight and its impact on my SPC. I felt that my entire story needed to be taken into consideration for care providers to be able to make a proper informed decision and now I feel that will happen. I look forward to reporting a positive outcome. Thank you to those that have being involved so far.

Response from Julie Shepherd, Nurse Manager Patient Experience, Patient Services; Clinical Governance Directorate, Townsvillle Hospital and Health Services

Dear Suffering,

I am very happy to read that you made contact with our Patient Liaison Service, as they are a dedicated and compassionate team who are committed to ensuring that your story is heard. Please know that your positive feedback about your call will be passed onto them and their Nursing Director.

It is encouraging to know that you have a plan in place for follow up with our Surgical Services who are a committed and professional team. I am inspired to know that you are feeling positive and have regained some faith in our system.

Thank you once again for sharing your story; it enabled us to listen to you and to value how you were feeling.

Your voice matters and telling your story made a difference.

I sincerely wish you all the very best for the future,

With warm regards,

Julie Shepherd

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Update posted by Suffering (the patient)

I am happy to report that I do have an appointment coming up next month. I feel I have to jump through a few hoops to be able to get the paper work and other documents to support my case but if it means I will be able to get the surgery I feel is the only way I will get some relief. I have been through so much already so anything that can help my quality of life in the short to long term can only be a positive outcome. I have worked hard to loss weight I put on due to medication and illness only to have it cause other problems so to have that dealt with would make a huge difference to my Mental, physical and psychological well being. I look forward to reporting the final outcome.