"Inconsiderate, unprofessional staff"

About: Airedale General Hospital

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Working in customer service myself I know how ungrateful and rude customers can be and would have liked to take this opportunity to leave a positive review as people are often quick to complain but slow to praise. Sadly, however, I can't. My mother has recently undergone treatment at Airedale hospital. Although some Doctors can't be faulted for their concern or care other staff leave a lot to be desired. During a stay in the hospital nurses seemed unsure what was going on and asked my mum who she was waiting to see, surely this should be in her records and they should be informing us, not the other way round? They also didn't allow a nearby elderly patient to use the toilet before putting her to bed, common sense and common decency would prompt you to do this, resulting in my mother having to get out of bed during the night to fetch a nurse as the lady had wet herself in the middle of the floor. Embarrassing and uncomfortable for the lady, as well as disturbing the patients around her this also created extra work for the staff cleaning up the mess. This past week I accompanied Mum for a blood test. The nurse had her mobile phone in her pocket which rang loudly during the procedure, this is very unproffesional behaviour. On going for her treatment the next day she was sat in the waiting room whilst two nurses gossiped loudly and idly for 15minutes in the room next door. On emerging the Doctor squinted at mum and said 'Ooh I didn't recognise you, your hair is thinning a lot isn't it?' This is such an inconsiderate , insensitive, rude and downright ridiculous remark from someone who is administering her chemotherapy treatment to make. I was absolutely fuming and stunned to hear that she had been treated like that in the one place you would most expect people to do their utmost to be understanding and sensitive. On another issue it would be considerate if in the chemo treatment lounge relatives were asked to have their phones on silent and not make calls, this should be a place where patients can relax and feel calm, not be forced to listen to other people's twitter. I can understand that family/friends not present may want updating on the patient's condition but they could either text silently or step outside to make the phone call. On the wall I noticed a sign reminding staff to offer all patients a customer satisfaction form, I can only imagine we weren't offered one because the staff knew their service had been unsatisfactory. I felt that my mum was treated callously in the place that should have been trying to put her at ease in order to aid her recovery. This was both disappointing and saddening, coping with illness is hard enough you should not also have to battle the brickwall of the system and some (but not all) uncaring carers. I understand that some things can't be helped and are out of your control, but your staff's attitudes and proffesionalism, or unproffessionalism as the case may be, should be easy to remedy.

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Response from Airedale General Hospital

It is disturbing to read this account of your mother's recent experience whlst a patient at our hospital. We very much want to investigate this further and encourage you to contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on 01535 294019

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