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Author Topic: Dr Simon Portsmouth @ St. Mary's, London  (Read 3621 times)

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Offline Central79

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Dr Simon Portsmouth @ St. Mary's, London
« on: October 25, 2007, 09:49:46 AM »
Hello All,

Sorry I haven't posted for a while. I've been trying to get my life back on track - taking some truly awful antidepressants (stopped now) and trying to study hard. I come in here and read, but haven't had much to post.

I've got a couple of weeks study leave ("free time") coming up, and I've decided to swap doctors from the Mortimer Market in London (she's only there one day a week, we don't click and she failed to genotype me within the first 18 months of my infection). I've been trying to make a more informed decision this time and I want to stay away from the hospitals affiliated with my med school - UCH, Royal Free and the Whittington.

Dr Simon Portsmouth's name has been mentioned to me, and I was wondering if anybody knows him or is under his care at St. Mary's?

Other than that, any general advice on how to choose, and get the most out of your doctor would be appreciated!

Matt.
Diagnosed January 2006
26/1/06 - 860 (22%), VL > 500,000
24/4/06 - 820 (24.6%), VL 158,000
13/7/06 - 840 (22%), VL 268,000
1/11/06 - 680 (21%), VL 93,100
29/1/07 - 1,020 (27.5%), VL 46,500
15/5/07 - 1,140 (22.8%), VL not done.
13/10/07 - 759 (23.2%), VL 170,000
6/11/07 - 630 (25%), VL 19,324
14/1/08 - 650 (21%), VL 16,192
15/4/08 - 590 (21%), VL 40, 832

Offline newt

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Re: Dr Simon Portsmouth @ St. Mary's, London
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2007, 10:53:06 AM »
St Mary's, good set of people as a rule. Dr S gets check on The Body - Simon D. Portsmouth, MBChB, MRCP, DipGUM, DFFP. The couple of times I have met him (HIV related activites but not as a patient) he seemed human and approachable.  He's the Lead Clinician for HIV at Imperial/St Mary's so dunno about the chances of getting assigned to him.

Good luck in your quest.

- matt
"The object is to be a well patient, not a good patient"

Offline keyite

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Re: Dr Simon Portsmouth @ St. Mary's, London
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2007, 10:57:08 AM »
Glad to see you're still here...  :)

Don't know St Mary's but heard good things about it. For what it's worth I can definitely recommend the Victoria Clinic, part of Chelsea & Westminster, and I get the impression the standard is similar at their other clinics. Care has been text book (and I know that because I've read the guidelines). I also really, really like my consultant as a person. She's a great listener and very empathetic, which was very reassuring in the early days of my diagnosis when I was just all over the place. She has always allowed ample time to deal with whatever issue or problem I have raised. On a couple of occasions she has also followed up on issues by calling me in between appointments. I have felt in very good hands indeed and it has definitely extended to other staff at Victoria; nurses, health advisers, receptionists, etc.

Good luck wherever you decide to go next!

Offline vokz

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  • efavirenz junkie
Re: Dr Simon Portsmouth @ St. Mary's, London
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2007, 11:39:25 AM »
Yeah, I can second those comments about Victoria Clinic. Really friendly and responsive staff, no-one rushes you, had no problems getting my preferred drug regimen  (despite it being more expensive than the suggested one), nothing is too much effort, telephone clinics, oodles of palliative care options (including acupuncture, massage, aromatherapy, dieticians, sex / ED counsellors etc), drugs delivered to my door (or nurse dispensed drugs when my bloods are drawn, if I prefer), the security of 24*365 telephone access to my records when I am travelling, routine appointments outside of normal working / office hours to minimise disruption to your life (till 7PM) and best of all .. my beloved Option E (which means I get my results by e-mail and only need to see the doctor once a year, unless I want to see her more often). The only negative is that it is such a depressing building .. but since I now spend all of about ten minutes there every four months I probably should not whine too much about that.

I like Kobler a lot too (which is also Chelsea and Westminster). If I was to change, then I think that is where I would personally go.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2007, 03:59:59 AM by vokz »

Offline keyite

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Re: Dr Simon Portsmouth @ St. Mary's, London
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2007, 11:47:17 AM »
The only negative is that it is such a depressing building

I never thought about that. Probably because I came to Victoria from Lydia at St Thomas' and Victoria seems a palace in comparison... :D

Offline newt

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Re: Dr Simon Portsmouth @ St. Mary's, London
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2007, 03:34:27 PM »
My only quibble with the Vic is their love-in with efavirenz (now there's a thought). If you's thinking you'd prefer to start on a PI combo St Mary's would be more amenable.  Not that they don't do 1st line PIs at Brian Gazzard's home patch, just you have to be a bit assertive about it sometimes. They do have many things well worked out at the Vic though, eg email contact and the like, and the 24/7 back-up is fantastic, though I personally find the travel to C&W a bugger.

Are we not blessed in central London clinics with much choice and v good doctors (generally)...?

- matt (in favor of end-user choice of combo) the newt

Uho - cat attempting 2nd escape from vet;s Elizabethan collar thingy...
"The object is to be a well patient, not a good patient"

Offline keyite

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Re: Dr Simon Portsmouth @ St. Mary's, London
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2007, 04:02:15 PM »
What's the 24/7/365 backup about? Never heard of that before. ???

Offline newt

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Re: Dr Simon Portsmouth @ St. Mary's, London
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2007, 04:08:07 PM »
C&W still has a dedicated HIV in patient ward. And therefore 24/7 doctors if really needed.
"The object is to be a well patient, not a good patient"

Offline vokz

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  • efavirenz junkie
Re: Dr Simon Portsmouth @ St. Mary's, London
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2007, 04:27:35 PM »
Keyite, at C&W there is always an HIV consultant on call, who has instant access to your records. As I say, great for travel; but also superb for those starting treatment.

Newt, to be fair, Efavirenz was not what Victoria Clinic recommended for me - it was what I asked for (and what they gave me). I think budget considerations have finally caught up with it being the automatic Vic high on offer  ;)

.. and yes, "blessed" is the right word. I am actually shocked at just how many guys I meet there who travel hundreds of miles to get their routine care at the VIc (and no doubt other London clinics too).

Offline newt

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Re: Dr Simon Portsmouth @ St. Mary's, London
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2007, 04:38:14 PM »
have nothing against efavirenz per se I just like people to have the choice. It is quite interesting to watch two of London's top docs argue it out as to whether it's the devil's son or the best thing since sliced bread (Nelson and Youle).  :D Suits some, don't others. I was kinda ruled out cos of resistance (tried one or two of my boyf's to see what the dreams were all about...).

blessed, yes we are...it makes me wince what people in outler London and some UK provincial cities go through (however, the clinic in Chichester I am told is very quiet and has a v good consultant at present..people from Brighton are travelling).

- matt
« Last Edit: October 25, 2007, 05:03:16 PM by newt »
"The object is to be a well patient, not a good patient"

Offline vokz

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Re: Dr Simon Portsmouth @ St. Mary's, London
« Reply #10 on: October 25, 2007, 04:48:27 PM »
:-\

I have tried everything I can think of to get those Technicolor dreams (including watching German porn before going to bed, which I was assured would do the trick and have me changing my bedding every morning) .. but NOTHING. I feel cheated *snorts*

Offline newt

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Re: Dr Simon Portsmouth @ St. Mary's, London
« Reply #11 on: October 25, 2007, 04:52:46 PM »
hmm...I am tempted to go off topic in a big way...
"The object is to be a well patient, not a good patient"

Offline keyite

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Re: Dr Simon Portsmouth @ St. Mary's, London
« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2007, 05:03:03 PM »
Obviously agree people should have choice available to them. But have to say I've been amazed at the amount of guys I've come across who are taking meds, sometimes for a long time too, who have little idea what their combo is about and even less idea what the alternatives would entail. Not interested either.

Seems a lot of people are happy to just leave it to their doc. Which is I guess is testament to the confidence the docs have inspired. So choice is good, but only makes sense if people are willing to work to make it an informed one. I guess what I'm saying is I can understand if docs end up prescribing more in one direction than another.

Personally I'd want to be involved in the choice, but then I'm too much of a control freak to just leave it to a doctor, no matter how good s/he is...
« Last Edit: October 26, 2007, 05:46:36 AM by keyite »

Offline Central79

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  • Posts: 527
Re: Dr Simon Portsmouth @ St. Mary's, London
« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2007, 05:07:40 AM »
hmm...I am tempted to go off topic in a big way...

Feel free!  :D

Thanks for your advice and help everybody.

M.
Diagnosed January 2006
26/1/06 - 860 (22%), VL > 500,000
24/4/06 - 820 (24.6%), VL 158,000
13/7/06 - 840 (22%), VL 268,000
1/11/06 - 680 (21%), VL 93,100
29/1/07 - 1,020 (27.5%), VL 46,500
15/5/07 - 1,140 (22.8%), VL not done.
13/10/07 - 759 (23.2%), VL 170,000
6/11/07 - 630 (25%), VL 19,324
14/1/08 - 650 (21%), VL 16,192
15/4/08 - 590 (21%), VL 40, 832

Offline Cliff

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Re: Dr Simon Portsmouth @ St. Mary's, London
« Reply #14 on: October 26, 2007, 07:07:25 AM »
Good luck with getting Simon.  Who did you see at Bloomsbury?  Was it Angela?  She was my consultant, but then I moved to Ian Williams, who I think is much better (and easier to talk to).  I've entertained the idea of moving clinics, but don't see a need right now (or just am lazy).  Bloomsbury needs to be more consumer friendly and offer some of the things other clinics are doing for patients.

Online Ann

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Re: Dr Simon Portsmouth @ St. Mary's, London
« Reply #15 on: October 26, 2007, 07:55:16 AM »
Darn tootin' you Londoners are blessed. 24/7? Here on the Rock they fly a second-rate doc in once a month. I thank my lucky stars I'm able to go to Liverpool for my care, but for obvious reasons even if Liverpool did have the extensive choice and back-up you guys do (which they don't), it wouldn't make a whole lot of difference to me, unless I suddenly grow wings. But hell, if I sprout wings, I'd go to London! ;)

~sigh~

Count your blessings, lads!

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline vokz

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  • efavirenz junkie
Re: Dr Simon Portsmouth @ St. Mary's, London
« Reply #16 on: October 26, 2007, 08:13:26 AM »
I know. We really should be quite ashamed that the only thing we can find to grumble about is waiting area with no windows. Hell, they even give us cups of tea on a Thursday   :-[

Offline keyite

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Re: Dr Simon Portsmouth @ St. Mary's, London
« Reply #17 on: October 26, 2007, 12:31:05 PM »
Count your blessings, lads!

Very, very appreciative here, and realise it's not like that everywhere. Been thinking about leaving London for a while now, but since the diagnosis it's one of things that makes me stop and think twice.

Offline carousel

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Re: Dr Simon Portsmouth @ St. Mary's, London
« Reply #18 on: October 27, 2007, 04:47:13 AM »
I used to go to the Victoria Clinic, but left because the way I was treated.  The last time I went, the nurse was encouraging me to make a complaint.  I suppose people have different experiences.

I though the Clinic would be really convenient for work, as I could walk there, but they were so inflexible about appointment times and it seemed to take ages to see a Consultant.

I decided to go back to King's and now see a doctor called Chris Taylor, who I'm very happy with.  He also treats some of my friends and I really appreciate the work he does.  The Clinic seems to be in a bit of a mess at the moment.  I'm not sure if this is to do with funding. And don't even think about changing your appointment, the aggravation is too much.  Complementary therapies.  What's that?  King's don't seem offer anything like that.  And I don't get tea and coffee, maybe a manky piece of fruit once in a while.

I'm probably not painting a good picture, but I feel confident with my doctor, unless anyone has any dirt they'd like to share.

I have no idea about the different drugs on offer, as I am not on medication.  I wouldn't think twice about changing if I wasn't getting the service I thought was appropriate.

We are lucky in London.

Offline Cliff

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Re: Dr Simon Portsmouth @ St. Mary's, London
« Reply #19 on: October 27, 2007, 05:12:14 AM »
I think getting an appointment at most clinics is difficult.  I usually have to make mine for several months in adavanced.  Not that big of a deal, since I only see the doctor once a year....but I do wonder what would happen if I needed to see him ASAP.  I tried the on-call doctor thing once last year, after being forced to wait 4 hours, they finally admitted that they really don't have an on-call doc, just one of the doc's (unsuccessfully) tries to squeeze drop-ins in between his regularly scheduled appointments.

Offline vokz

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Re: Dr Simon Portsmouth @ St. Mary's, London
« Reply #20 on: October 27, 2007, 05:44:52 AM »
I tend to plan my routine appointments a couple of weeks in advance (so, when I am there having my bloods done, I just  book an appointment to see my doctor  two weeks later).

On the few occasions I have needed something more urgent, they have always found me one with the lead clinician .. or sent me straight to the Thomas Macaulay Ward @ C&W (when they thought, from my GPís description of symptoms, that I had developed Stevens-Johnson Syndrome .. but didnít).

Online Ann

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Re: Dr Simon Portsmouth @ St. Mary's, London
« Reply #21 on: October 27, 2007, 07:31:12 AM »
I can't really complain about the Liverpool Royal either because no matter what, it's better than the set-up here on the Rock. I love Saye Khoo, my consultant, and I've been calling him the Wizard of Poz practically since I met him. I often see his registrar (they've changed over the years), but they've always been good too - after all, they are under the direct tutelage of the Wiz himself! I don't mind this at all because I know that if I need/want to see the Wiz, I get to see the Wiz without quibbles.

We used to have our own waiting room at the back of the clinic, but that room became too small and it's been turned back into a treatment room. The main thing I miss about that is we no longer have a kettle with tea-bags and instant coffee at our disposal. I heard the kettle had to go because of the huge increase of toddlers coming in with their mothers. (I guess it's assumed the mothers can't/won't keep an eye on their offspring. ::) )

At the clinic here on the Rock, the appointments are on a Saturday and they arrange it so that you are always the only one in the waiting room. If someone is due in while another person is still waiting, they put the waiting person into an exam room so they're not seen. It's bizarre. It's like they want/expect us to be ashamed and hidden away. Sometimes I can't help but wonder if they're afraid we may find strength in numbers.

My biggest fears are that I'll be forced, through budget cuts, to attend the clinic on the Rock and/or that I'll be taken suddenly and seriously ill and find myself in the Rock's hospital with something hiv related. My partner is under strict instructions to get in contact with the Wiz to let him know what's going on if I can't speak for myself.

If I ever win the lottery I'll probably move to Liverpool, but it's not otherwise financially possible.

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

 


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