Do you feel heard by your doctor?
BBC Newsreader Naga Munchetty says; “I was failed and gaslit by NHS despite debilitating periods.”
Written by Sophie McGarry, Clinical Negligence Solicitor Apprentice
On Wednesday 18 October 2023, Naga Munchetty spoke to the Commons’ Women and Equalities Committee to report of the decades in which she felt failed, gaslit and “never taken seriously” by doctors. This was after suffering from debilitatingly heavy periods, repeated vomiting, and severe pain; which on occasions, caused her to lose consciousness.
She reported that her symptoms were “deemed normal” and was told “everyone goes through this” and to “suck it up” by NHS GPs during a time when she was seeking help and advice for her symptoms over a period of 35 years.
In November 2022, after a lengthy battle for a diagnosis, Naga Munchetty was diagnosed with adenomyosis; a condition where the lining of the womb grows into the muscle in its walls.
At the Committee on Wednesday, it was discussed that GPs, specialists and doctors lacked the specialism and training required to recognise and treat gynaecological issues that are devastating the lives of women and girls across the UK.
The Committee is considering disparities that exist in diagnosis and treatment, and the impact of women’s experiences on their health. The Chair of the Committee, Caroline Nokes, vowed the Committee would issue guidance to the NHS and schools to tackle the “woefully misunderstood, ignorance, stigma and shame” surrounding women’s health, which Naga Munchetty summarised as her experience.
What should you do if you feel that you are not being heard by your doctor? What if they are not listening to you?
On Thursday’s ITV1’s Lorraine, Dr Amir said; “It can be really hard when you feel like a healthcare professional isn’t listening to you. Thankfully, healthcare professionals now are trained to ask about something called ideas, expectations, and concerns. That is; what is your worry about your symptoms and what are you hoping to get out of today’s consultation? If that hasn’t been asked of you, write it down before you go and see someone, so that you can discuss what you are worried about and what you hope your healthcare professional can do for you”.
What should you do if you have suffered from a delay in diagnosis of a condition?
Sophie McGarry, Clinical Negligence Solicitor Apprentice said; “We understand that it is extremely frustrating and exhausting to continuously seek help and advice from medical professionals and to feel as though you are not being listened to. Sometimes, patients’ concerns being ignored can lead to a delay in diagnosis and treatment of their condition and sometimes, such delays can have detrimental impacts on a patient’s health.”
If you, or someone you love, have suffered a delay in diagnosis of a condition which has had a detrimental impact, contact us today.