Dr Martin Sweatman
9th December 2015
This doctor was extremely rude, and 'diagnosed' my mother without even examining her, and discharged while she was still in a great amount of pain without solution, just temporary pain relief. I was concerned about my mother's diagnosis and treatment, when she had been admitted by ambulance with extreme crippling back pain that had been getting worse over the past 6 weeks. Admission to hospital resulted in X-rays and painkillers, then being discharged the next day with no action to resolve the issue, or any firm results to prove that it is definitely 'muscle spasms', as diagnosed by Dr Sweatman. I turned up to the Clinical Decisions unit (Basically the cubicals where they need to get you out of A+E to meet targets of time spent in A+E, yet they don't know what is wrong with you or won't admit you to a proper ward) to pick my mother up after being phoned to say I needed to take her home. I greeted the doctor by holding my hand out for a professional handshake when Dr Sweatman turned his head away deliberately to avoid returning this action. RUDE. I was then told rather abruptly that my mother was being discharged because there was no action they would take to resolve her problem, which is apparently 'Muscle Spasms'. After watching my mother suffer for 6 weeks and counting, it was obviously not something minor and needs proper action. How could soft tissue damage be diagnosed without any scans other than X-rays which show up only bones/dense matter, and how could the pain last 6 weeks, and still be ongoing when the doctor said it would clear up 'within a few days'??? Keeping polite and professional I asked if we could have a second opinion: 'No' and apparently the second opinion would only confirm the diagnosis. How exactly have they diagnosed this? My mother, struggling to stand up to get dressed to return home, started to faint from the pain, buckled over half on the bed, half on the cabinet next to the bed. Dr Sweatman came over while she was in this state and clearly needed help, put a hand on her shoulder and said 'you're still going home.' This was unbelievable. I challenged the doctor after experiencing his 'bedside manner' and said if we go private and pay for the scans which will prove the real reason, would he accept responsibility for the wrong diagnosis. He refused any further scans saying that they would simply be denied and only my mother's GP could apply for them. After pussyfooting and excusing, he finally accepted that he would accept responsibility, but only after pressure from our side. I asked for his details so that we could make a record of who we make a complaint about. He held the lanyard with his staff ID abruptly in front of my face, closer than I could read, in an extremely intimidating manner. I have since found out that we were more than entitled to a second opinion at hospital, and that he could have ordered the scans, there would have been no restrictions from stopping him other than his ignorance. Stronger painkillers were available but he prescribed weaker ones, and only 3 days supply. We received a prescription for stronger painkillers from the family GP who was disgusted with the way my mother has been treated and is also writing to the hospital.
Further to the above. A lady in the bed next to my mother was also treated horribly, to the point where I, a grown adult, watching the events unfold with no emotional link to this lady, burst into tears for the way this lady was treated. Her husband was in ICU, dying of cancer, on his last hours, and just like my mother, she was ill and being fobbed off that she's better off at home. This lady was around about 80 years old, and possibly had mental issues, such as Alzheimers, and wanted to see / be with her husband, but Dr Sweatman just said 'Nope, you're going home' in the same, brusque, arrogant manner. I thought doctors were supposed to me empathetic and have a duty of care to their patients, from what I've seen, this doctor fails on all counts, both with his so-called 'care' and diagnosis. God help anyone else who is seen my this man. It wouldn't surprise me if this post doesn't get published, I can imagine that anything will be done for this man to keep his money and position, but I know that he fails as a doctor and as a human being in my eyes, my family's eyes, and the eyes of the lady in the next bed.
***An update*** My mother has since passed away. The reason? Cancer of the spine which Dr Sweatman dismissed as 'muscle spasms'. I am taking this further.