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"Inappropriate wording of medical notes"

About: Scottish Ambulance Service / Emergency Ambulance University Hospital Wishaw / Emergency Department

(as a service user),

An ambulance attended my home to take me to A and E. The staff were fantastic.

I genuinely had no complaints or issues until I saw the paperwork from that day. The word “demanding/demanded” has been used which I feel is inappropriate. I am sure that the staff's recollection of the events will be the same as mine which is that I was incredibly grateful to them for the attention they gave me and the gas and air which I was able to access to help alleviate the significant pain I was in. 

Unfortunately when we arrived at A and E at Wishaw General there was a queue of ambulances. It was very clear to see what politics came into play at this point around whose responsibility I would become. At this stage I explained that I had previously been given Oramorph in the ambulance a few weeks previously and that if I was to be expected to go and sit for another unidentified period of time in A and E rather than in the ambulance, I would like some stronger pain relief as I obviously could not take the gas and air with me. I at no time demanded Oramorph and I believe that using this language is not only inappropriate but also builds up an image of someone demanding/seeking drugs inappropriately. I was in clear pain and distress. The use of language like this needs to be addressed.

I would like the staff who attended to reflect on that evening and consider if this language is appropriate. I would also like them to consider how this then impacted my future treatment - as within my notes from the consultant who saw me after receiving that paperwork - he used EXACTLY the same language which again I have challenged as there was nothing demanding about my presentation. I assume that ambulances have CCTV and you will see that if anything I was overly grateful to the ambulance staff and most certainly not demanding. It is not a word that has ever been used to describe me in terms of my demeanour with any health professional - and I find it more than a co-incidence that it was used twice within 12 hours.

Language matters - it creates a narrative and draws a picture of the person you are dealing with. 

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Responses

Response from David King, Patient Experience Coordinator, Corporate Affairs, Scottish Ambulance Service 6 months ago
David King
Patient Experience Coordinator, Corporate Affairs,
Scottish Ambulance Service
Submitted on 08/11/2023 at 12:03
Published on Care Opinion at 12:03


Dear Dazzle

Thank you for sharing your story.

I believe we are currently investigating this matter as you had contacted us separately.

Kind regards

David

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Response from Julie Coyle, Senior Nurse - Emergency Care, University Hospital Wishaw, NHS Lanarkshire 6 months ago
Julie Coyle
Senior Nurse - Emergency Care, University Hospital Wishaw,
NHS Lanarkshire
Submitted on 08/11/2023 at 12:09
Published on Care Opinion at 12:09


Dear Dazzle,

Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback regarding your recent attendance to our Emergency Department at Wishaw. I am sorry to hear that you have found the language used by our staff inappropriate which has resulted in inaccurate documentation within your medical notes.

I will share your feedback with the team and use it to help improve the processes and experience for our patients. However, if you wish to discuss your complaint further, please contact our Patient Affairs department so they can understand the issues in more detail and respond to you personally. You can contact them by email: PatientAffairs.Wishaw@lanarkshire.scot.nhs.uk or by phone: 01698 366 558.

I hope you are recovering well following your recent attendance.

Best wishes,

Julie.

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Update posted by Dazzle (a service user)

I have already contacted patient affairs, and am hopeful to have a response soon.

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