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"Humiliated and upset"

About: University Hospital Wishaw / Accident & Emergency University Hospital Wishaw / Radiology

(as the patient),

I attended A&E at UHW. I am exempt from wearing a mask but did have a light scarf loosely around  my neck which I can pull over my face for a very short time . I don't usually bring a scarf as I can't tolerate it for long ,and on other recent visits to clinics ,ultrasound and mammogram nobody has ever questioned my exemption or upset and caused trauma and stress...not great when you have Addisons disease either .anyway this time the nurse in question, immediately asked me about a mask at this point i had my own scarf around my neck...when pulled up is a totally acceptable face covering, confirmed on Scottish government website and because of my exemption is not nessisary to wear anything. So I said I'm exempt...they replied its mandatory to wear one ...I said but im exempt....but they weren't having it .I then said I've got brittle asthma not well controlled since I had sepsis and COPD...what was said next I found so rude and embarrassing considering other patients were a curtain  away... they simply said that I'm not exempt, in what I felt was an unprofessional manner. So i said the main reason I couldn't wear one was because of pervious abuse... I was then told I wouldn't be allowed an xray if I didn't wear one ,and no consultant would let me in a ward.

By this time I was going like a battery ..again I feel this could have caused an addisons crisis .....I was so stressed...I then felt like  I had to elaborate on the abuse and trauma caused ...but regardless of that I was handed a mask, by then I was crying as I put the mask over my mouth... I had to pull it on and off on and off and I felt the panic and anxiety kick in ...as I made my way to xray the tears were blinding me so much so I walked right past xray waiting area, which I'm very familiar with. After getting my foot X-rayed and checked I had a broken metatarsal. But my whole foot ,and outside ankle was so very badly swollen bruised and in agony  ..inside of ankle was also swollen and whole foot right up to just before my toes. So they looked up protocol for metatarsal break and came over to say its crutches and a shoe ...do you just want to wear your own shoe ..I said no as it was a slip on soft canvas shoe ... Then told me I didn't need the crutches because I had one ...yes one thats all I had in the house, so the no weight-bearing for 6/8 weeks would be impossible and also because the geisha shoe gave me no support whatsoever because of my very swollen and very painful ankles which was tissue damaged.

I just couldn't wait to get out the place ,get mask off ,stress dose my hydrocortisone and then sat in car shaking like a leaf and panicking.....I got home and crawled upstairs with an ice pack and slept with elevated foot ..it wasn't very comfortable and I could not get about with no support on the break or with one crutch .my cousin drove over with the half boot for me which is what I think I should have got in first place..sometimes common sense should prevail and nobody would think my own shoe and the one geisha shoe would gave my foot and ankle any support whatsoever. My cousin has also ordered me a pair of crutches  from amazon coming tomorrow. I've had to get my Granddaughters who are in my sole care sent to their other gran all weekend because I simply can't function or get downstairs, carry food ect....until I get appropriate aids.

Finally I attend a number of clinics in UHW one of which is respiratory. I was on the extremely vulnerable list and had to shield in my room for 20 weeks without going outside and if I could wear a mask I would..but due to the type of trauma I physically, mentally and emotionally can't...its now triggered my experience to the forefront and caused a great deal of stress and anxiety. I've spoken with someone regarding the mask and exemption and I've done nothing wrong..but its actually not legal to be questioned, then trying to explain why you are exempt and have a patient feel degraded a disclosing a very private and personal reason, which causes great anxiety and distress. I have taken lots of pictures of my broken foot and the extent of the swelling..all in all I feel I won't want to go out in a public place anytime soon .and definitely not A&E. I'm speaking up for anyone who genuinely can't wear a  mask for whatever reason ...obviously not because you just don't want to ...
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Responses

Response from Andy Pender, Senior Nurse, Emergency Medicine, University Hospital Wishaw, NHS Lanarkshire last week
Andy Pender
Senior Nurse, Emergency Medicine, University Hospital Wishaw,
NHS Lanarkshire
Submitted on 22/02/2021 at 16:33
Published on Care Opinion at 16:33


picture of Andy Pender

Dear Lola 68,

I am sorry to read your feedback of your experience during your visit to the emergency department and the stress that this has caused you and would offer my apologies for how you were made feel.

This is not the standards of communication, compassion or care that we would expect for any of our patients.

I think it would be helpful if you could provide us with additional details and information to allow us to review these concerns and also to ensure that there is feedback to the staff involved and shared learning. If I could ask you to contact the patient affairs team on 01698 366558 or via e mail at PatientAffairs.Wishaw@lanarkshire.scot.nhs.uk.

I hope that this finds you feeling better and that you are on the mend.

Best wishes

Andy

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