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"Lack of Compassion"

About: Whiteabbey Hospital

(as a service user),

I attended Whiteabbey Hospital today for a first outpatient appointment.

I did not see any signs on procedure or anything where I attended. Just disinfectant gel.

I approached a staff member asked where I was for. I told them. They told me to wait in a foyer. There weren't any seats. So I went back in and asked for a chair and they said they couldn't give me one. I told them that I have disabilities and I'm disabled and they smirked at me. They made a face!!! So I said I would sit on the floor then.

So I sat on the floor. I was sitting there discussing things with my carer and t they came out to the foyer and started telling me why they can't provide a chair. I asked them to please leave me alone I was not interested in speaking with them further but they continued to go on and on about. Claiming there was no one to disinfect the chair after I used it. Really???

It got to the point that I was so frustrated, on the verge of crying that I held my hands up, looked at the ceiling and said I just want a f***ing chair. I don't usually swear but I was so upset.

When the person I was seeing for my appointment arrived, the member of staff told what they thought happened. Saying I dropped F bombs. I spoke calmly to the staff I was meeting and told them it was nice to meet them, but they decided not to hear me or my side of what happened and told me they'd consult with colleagues as to whether they'd allow me to attend.

So I just left. I got in my car and cried all the way home. I felt so hurt and uncared for. I couldn't believe that this had just happened at a hospital. Where people are supposed to be compassionate.



Response from Leigh Morgan, CO Facilitator, Patient Experience, NHSCT last month
We are preparing to make a change
Leigh Morgan
CO Facilitator, Patient Experience,
Submitted on 26/11/2020 at 15:20
Published on Care Opinion at 16:05

picture of Leigh Morgan

Dear gaw58,

My name is Leigh and I am one of the patient experience facilitators for the Northern Trust.

First of all thank you for taking the time to write this feedback. It is clear that you were very upset about your experience and I am sure writing this would have been quite difficult for you.

Please allow me to apologise for the sheer lack of compassion shown to you on your recent visit to Whiteabbey. This does not meet the standards we hope to achieve for our patients.

I can understand your frustration about not being given a chair, especially after informing staff of your disability. Whilst I appreciate that there are additional precautions required due to the ongoing Covid-19 Pandemic, there may be occasions where it is necessary to use professional judgment and make reasonable adjustments for patients based on their individual needs. I have liaised with our Equality Team. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the Trust has had to adapt to different ways of training staff. The Equality Team are currently in the process of completing a new online Disability, Equality Training for staff which will be available soon.

In your story you also speak about the lack of clear signage showing current Covid-19 procedures for entering the hospital. I have contacted our Infection Control team to look into this more closely and I will follow up with them.

I will share this with staff so that they can reflect on your experience and learn from it. I will also share this with the Senior Management Team and have a response from them soon.

I am also aware that because of the lack of compassion you were shown and being so upset, you left without attending your appointment. I would be very grateful if you would contact the Service to arrange another appointment. Alternatively, if you would like to discuss this further, please contact me by email at

Many thanks for taking the time to feed back to us.


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