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"Unable to maintain social distancing"

About: South Tyrone Hospital / Radiology

(as a service user),

I attended for a ct scan at South Tyrone Hospital. I have cancer and was shielding during lock down so was nervous about attending but was reassured by friends and relatives that South Tyrone was a safe hospital.

I entered on my own while my daughter waited in the car. While entering to go to book in the corridors were crowded with so people, many who were not wearing masks. People were less than 1 metre from me in all directions and I had to wait for considerable time to book in for me scan. I could not social distance. The queue of People were also blocking a nurse coming out of what appeared to be an xray room with a lady in a wheelchair.

Whilst queueing, staff brought 4 different patients into an xray room and there was no room for those in the queue and those being called into the room. If only for not having cancer and the importance of my scan I would have left. There were queues for both the casualty and the radiology reception. I was very frightened for my safety and do not feel this is a safe hospital to come to. After checking in I was directed to the ct scan department. The nursing staff in the ct department were friendly and courteous. It was also very busy with people attending for different scans but I was able to maintain social distancing away from people.

The hospital need to do something about how many people there are in the corridors around the casualty and radiology departments. I am too frightened to return in the future unless improvements are made.

Responses

Response from Ann Tate, Lead, Radiography services, Southern Health & Social Care Trust 5 months ago
We have made a change
Ann Tate
Lead, Radiography services,
Southern Health & Social Care Trust
Submitted on 29/09/2020 at 16:05
Published on Care Opinion at 16:31


Dear Innerpeace49,

Thank you so much for taking the time to tell us about your recent experience at South Tyrone Hospital whilst attending for a scan. I am so sorry to read that you had a considerable time to wait to book in for your scan and I can understand how, because of the number of people waiting, you felt frightened for your safety. In order to try to improve this for patients and ensure safe social distancing, I have put in place a number of steps, which will hopefully help our vulnerable patients to feel safer.

Patients will continue to book into the reception area, however for patients attending for scans they can now walk down the corridor in X-Ray directly to the scanning suite. When the scan has been completed the staff in the scanning suite will direct the patients out onto the out patients corridor and ask them to follow the way out signs. This means they will not be walking back into X-Ray, which will hopefully ease congestion at the entrance and corridor of Minor Injuries Unit.

In addition when patients arrive at the department without a face mask we have a supply and can offer them one.

We have also improved our signage, with new signs printed and placed where they can be easily seen which direct patients to the way out and advise that they cannot enter at the end of the corridor which leads to the x-ray department.

We will try these measures and I will be reviewing how this new system is working.

I am pleased that you found the staff in the CT department to be friendly and courteous and I will share your comments with them. I trust that if you need to return to our department you will feel reassured that we have taken on board your comments.

With best wishes

Ann Tate

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