"out patient appointment"

About: Airedale General Hospital

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I attended today for a rheumatology appointment Whilst I was sat in the waiting area I could overhear the consultation in the room near me between a nurse and an elderly lady. The door had been left open about 6 inch and the consultation including the patients name, date of birth, address and diagnosis was discussed for all to hear. The young nursing assistant also could hear as could other patients but she made no effort to close the door. The lady was told she was being seen as an extra and she was lucky that this nurse had squeezed her in because she is very busy. She then went on to discuss very technical details regarding her illness including details about steroids and that they may suppress her neutrophils and that the nurse would ring her in 2 weeks to check on her but if she didn't hear from her it might be she had forgot with being so busy so to ring her at the hospital. When the lady left the room she was quite overwhelmed - she even said to the HCSW that's a lot to take in is'nt it? The HCSW just nodded her head and offered no support. Firstly confidentiality was breached and data protection, if I had the intent to I have the information where a vunerable elderly lady lives and her personal details. Secondly no privacy or dignity was provided to this lady. No compassion was shown. If this had been my relative I would have complained but as it is not I do feel that it is important future patients are aware. This was my first visit to rheumatolgy and fortunately my last, unfortunately for this lady I fear she will have more contact with this nurse.

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Response from Airedale General Hospital

This experience, as described, is unacceptable. Immediate action has been taken to ensure appropriate privacy and confidentiality are afforded to patients in our outpatients clinic. We would value discussing this with you further and encourage you to contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) team on 01535 294019, so we can explain what actions we have taken.

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