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"Must do better"

About: University College Hospital

What I liked

The member of staff tried to be kind and nice. However, in this environment kind and nice is an application of skill, not a thoughtless general inclination. I am rethinking what my friends mean when they say medical staff are 'nice'. Nice seems to mean a level of thoughfullness which leads to a specific skill. It refelcts negatively on medicine as a profession that we do not think that treating people with dignitiy and respect is an important skill to teach staff and put resources and effort into helping them to develop and maintain.

What could be improved

It is a requirement of practice that practitioners explain the planned investigation or procedure, and alternatives to this procedure. This enables helpful communication between the patient and practitioner. The the practitioner is claming specific expertise and knowledge and as they are in a position of trust, is an obligation placed on the practitioner, not the patient, to explain things clearly and make clear the options.

Other providers make clear the graduation between an external and internal ultrasound, and recognise that this is a procedure which requires sensitivity by offering the external ultrasound first, to provide a rationale for a subsequent internal ultrasound and / or to build trust between the provider and patient.

It is a shame that i did not attend this alternative provider, as i think that if I had experienced this approach, I would not now be afraid of seeing a doctor. It was a deeply distressing and disempowering experience. ad UCLH. What a shame that my pracitioner did not have the skills to treat me with dignity and respect! A real training issue for them, but there are so few ways of feeding back, as I feel am a patient to be processed and not a person to them. What ways of feedback to that particular practitioner are there for me? Also I feel so upset and thinking about meeting them... and unfortunately I would avoid future contact with the medical profession. I ahve no reason to think that things would be better...

Anything else?

It is very hard to say publically that I do not feel safe with people who claim to be professional in this area; people who do not recognise that it is a necessary obligation of the specific role and position of trust that health professionals have to explain the different options available for a gynocological ultrasound (external vs. internal) and treat patients with dignity an drespect; for instance, by having a graduated response, from external to internal if there is a clear reason, or if both parties would like to be absolutley sure that there is nothing wrong.

To be honest the assumption that I was a passive patient who was necessaryily a part of their preferred processes ('Well, this is how we do it here!) and the attitude of surpries when i questioned the established practiced lead me to ask;

"It is a requirement of practice that you explain all options for investigations, including your reasons for any medical preference for a particular approach, but not only your preferred approach all those avaialbel and the pros and cons for those approaches. Can you explain to me how you have done this?"

If I ahve to prompt a profressional to provide basic, required information, I feel I have good reason to not trust. I feel justifiued in acting on this distrust to the extent that I will refused the treatment offerred. However, there is a cost of this to me, as i remain in pain and waiting for next steps. logo


Response from University College Hospital 9 years ago
University College Hospital
Submitted on 24/02/2012 at 15:41
Published on on 25/02/2012 at 04:00

Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback on your experiences in Women's Health at the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Wing. We are sincerely sorry that the communication of our clinical staff did not meet your expectations. We are continually striving to improve the way in which all staff speak to, and address patients. This is a priority in our regular case reviews and in mandatory learning and development. If you would like to discuss your concerns in more detail please do not hesitate to contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on 020 3447 3042 or at

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