Dr Helen Starkey


Specialises in:

  • General Practice

Works at:

Where this Doctor works


Recent Reviews

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1 2 3 4 5

1 2 3 4 5
10th November 2015
Written by a patient at Mill Road Surgery

A common misconception is that a deficiency of B12 results in anaemia which is quickly and easily remedied. However this condition can, and does, cause nerve degeneration and permanent physical disability. This fact should be well understood by medical professionals. See here: http://www.bmj.com/content/349/bmj.g5226 My previous GP had failed to read a blood test showing a severe B12 deficiency which left me untreated for nearly 1 year. During this time obviously my levels fell further and I had serious neurological symptoms not fully resolved even after treatment. This is entirely consistent with this illness which can result in physical disability if a patient is not treated within 6 months. I consulted with a Mill Road GP about my remaining symptoms but these were dismissed. I was told my ‘B12 levels were now normal’ - which is irrelevant as far as neurological damage is concerned. I complained to Dr Starkey and was met with nothing short of abuse. She clearly believes that raising the B12 levels to normal resolves all neurological complications. Untrue. According to Dr Starkey I am the patient who ‘caused all the trouble.’ Not true. I am the patient who, although very sick was left without medical intervention and went to Mill Road to ascertain the extent of the remaining injuries. I should not be blamed for being aware of the true nature of a B12 deficiency simply because doctors are not. Dr Starkey then went on to contact my family to ‘explain’ to them that there had been no oversight and my injuries were ‘imaginary.’ - how a patient can imagine muscle atrophy I’m not quite sure. This convinced my family I was both a hypochondriac and a liar. Of which I am neither. I was not informed of this communication until long after it happened. The facts of this case remain: I had symptoms of neurological degeneration and a blood test revealed a severe B12 deficiency which my GP failed to read. During the next 11 months my physical condition deteriorated to the point I was having difficulty walking and seeing. After I received treatment I was left with remaining physical problems. This is normal under such conditions. B12 levels returning to normal means nothing as the damage was caused when I was deficient. By the time I attended Mill Road Surgery I had already been through an extreme amount of suffering when the deficient blood test was overlooked and had then been left to cope with the consequences. When I turned to Dr Starkey for assistance, what I received was not only verbal abuse but unacceptable and duplicitous manipulation of my family to convince them the problem was with me rather than the level of care I received at her practice. Her time would have been better spent upgrading skills and knowledge relative to neurological injury and B12 deficiency rather than maligning an already injured patient.

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