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‘Quickly’ in medical terms – is it really?

‘Quickly’ in medical terms – is it really?

Following recent personal events, Melanie Lidstone-Land looks at the word ‘quickly’ in terms recent medical experience. Could this really be quickly? Does the NHS understand what quickly means?

“Recently someone very close to me had a bit of a health “scare” with a lump found on their leg.

It was painful, it had been there for a while and was starting to change in terms of the way it felt. It was becoming painful at night to the extent that it was causing them to wake with the pain.

A little bit of knowledge is a dreadful thing.

I knew these could be “red flag” signs of a bone tumour.

I also knew this meant a trip to the GP and asking for a referral to a specialist!

Easier said than done!

Challenge #1 – getting an appointment.  This took about three weeks.

Between the initial GP appointment and the referral there were blood tests and frustrating appointments with the GP saying they had asked for incorrect tests.  Tests for Hodgkins Lymphoma were done with no explanation as to why and no reassurance about this.

Challenge #2 – getting a referral.  This took a staggering four months!

All the while a patient is frightened and in pain, not to mention their family!

Challenge #3 – getting the right physical tests.

An ultrasound was organised.  The sonographer did the test but said that as this was to do with bones, he thought that X Rays and possibly an MRI was needed and then he added the word…….”quickly”.

More waiting, uncertainty and more anxiety.

Finally an appointment at the Hospital with a Consultant…phew!

After waiting for 2 hours, the appointment took 5 minutes.  We did not even get the chance to sit down.  The words were “Yes, it looks like a tumour.  It is probably benign but could be aggressive.  You need an MRI ………”quickly””

“Quickly” turned out to be a further 3 weeks and then a further 2 weeks for an appointment to discuss the results………

To cut a long and very frustrating story short we found ourselves in front of another Consultant who confirmed that the tumour looked benign.


It was a specialist matter and the results now had to be sent to the centre of excellence in Oxford!

They eventually reported that it was benign.

But, repeat MRI scans would be needed every 6 months to check the position as the tumours can become malignant and when that happens treatment needs to be done, you guessed it…….”quickly”.

Guess what?

Yep, 6 months on and it’s time for an MRI which is now 2 months overdue despite chasing every day!

My point is that so many of us are experiencing the delays, the frustration and the anxiety.  Sometimes our worst fears are realised and what started as a struggle to get an appointment ends with extreme delays and a terrifying diagnosis.

If this has happened to you and you think that you have a claim, please call me or email me and I will discuss it with you, no obligation, and provide you with clear advice to see if the matter can be progressed.

Interestingly, I just “Googled” the word “quickly” for suitable alternatives as I don’t think that the NHS understand and this is what I got…..

apace, briskly, chop-chop, double-quick, fast, fleetly, full tilt, hastily, hell-for-leather, presto, pronto, quick, rapidly, snappily, soon, speedily, swift, swiftly.” 

As you can clearly see, Melanie is passionate about her work. She fights for her clients to ensure they have a voice to be heard while they have many emotions to work through.

Call her on 02392 483322 or contact her through our enquiry form for a no obligation chat about your experience.

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