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"Patient privacy at the Royal Free"

About: Royal Free Hospital

(as the patient),

As a volunteer on a screening study, I was sitting in the scan waiting room where pregnant women are also scanned. In the middle of the fairly crowded waiting room, a doctor started giving a couple the results of their unborn baby's scan, which suggested possible abnormalities. Afterward, another shocked onlooker and I spoke to the parents, who said they were surprised at the lack of privacy but didn't feel they could say anything.

I found the doctor and raised it with him, but he brushed me aside. He said the screening study had taken away the only consultation room, which I was later told was not the case.

Finally, I went to the Patient Advice and Liaison Service, who took it up with senior staff. After investigating the incident, they assured me that procedures had been put in place to prevent it happening again. I very much hope so.

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