Our Annual Report 2018-19 has just been published, (see our Reports Section below for more details and links to the Plymouth and Devon Healthwatch annual reports)..
This case study is just one of the many examples of our work during the year.
“I visited my GP with a skin condition and was referred to hospital to see the dermatologist. When I saw the consultant, she advised that she needed a biopsy to confirm exactly what the issue was and whether it was cancerous.
“But when I went to the biopsy appointment, they wouldn’t see me because I was in the first trimester of pregnancy, and they didn’t know whether I was able to have a biopsy. No one seemed to know why this was or why they had reached that decision.
“I didn’t know who to ask or what to do, so I came to see Healthwatch Torbay. They spoke with the health trust directly, who investigated and found there was no good reason why it would be inappropriate to perform skin surgery on pregnant patients in their first trimester. They also re-scheduled my appointment so I could have the biopsy I needed.
“Since then, the health trust have apologised for the miscommunication and shared updated recommendations of how this should be dealt with going forwards with all the doctors in the department, as part of a departmental plan to avoid this happening again. This has also been shared more widely with the Surgical Service Delivery Unit so it can be explored further in relation to other surgical procedures for pregnant patients in the first trimester”.
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