"Ultrasound Department"

About: St Michael's Hospital (Bristol)

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My partner was referred to St Michael’s for both an internal and external ultrasound scan. When she finally managed to speak with the appointments team they booked the internal scan and advised her to book the external scan when she was in the department. Following the internal scan she attempted to book the next one. The receptionist was rude and uninterested in this request. “ You don’t need another one” was the response. When questioned she admitted that two requests had been made by our GP but as they didn’t understand what the second one was for they ignored it. We then spoke with the supervisor, a very patronising woman. “ No dear you have had a scan you don’t need another one you can go now” We asked several times if they would phone the GP and confirm the referral and they refused point blank. At this point my partner got very upset. She was worried about the reasons for the scans and the response of the staff was unhelpful to say the least. Eventually the member of staff who undertook her scan came to speak with us. When we explained the issue, again, she checked for us and it was clear that there was a second scan needed but they didn’t perform it in that department. Therefore, rather than assist my partner to sort the issue and obtain the scan she need they went as far to tell her she didn’t need it just to clear a problem of their plate. I am a Clinical Negligence solicitor and so did not just accept it when we were told she did not need another scan, I was in the GP appointment with her and well aware of the scans she had been referred for. Someone else may have accepted this information and had the diagnosis of a potentially serious issue missed. We have no complaints about the lady who performed the scan. However the admin staff in the ultrasound department are rude, indifferent and unhelpful. We are trying for a baby at the moment and I have serious concerns over attending this department again despite it being the most convenient for us.

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Response from St Michael's Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to post a comment on NHS Choices. We are very sorry to hear that you and your partner had such a distressing experience in our ultrasound department. We appreciate that these appointments can be stressful occasions for women, their partners and families, and recognise that sensitive and accurate communication is so important in these circumstances. Please accept our apologies that the service did not meet your expectations in this respect. We would very much like the chance to talk to you in more detail about your experience, so that we can fully understand what happened and learn from it. In order to do this we would be grateful if in the first instance you could contact our Patient Support and Complaints Team (0117 342 1050 or email pals@uhbristol.nhs.uk). Thank you again for your feedback and we hope to hear from you soon.

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