"How not to treat a 96 year old woman"

About: Southmead Hospital

Forget the fact that I booked in my appointment at the booking area in the main entrance and then waited as instructed. When 30 minutes had gone past my appointment time I spoke with the 2 receptionists in the Radiology Dept. they told me that the information had not come through. Apparently I was on the system but the computer system had not updated to show that I was here. Apart from this my review is what I saw rather than experienced. It may be a small issue but one that feels important. As I sat in reception waiting an elderly lady was brought in a wheelchair by a man in a green uniform. What got me was the fact that they then proceeded to speak about this lovely lady, him and the receptionists, as though she was not there. Apart from to ask her date of birth, I say ask her but really they had to ask quite loudly as they stared at their computer screen so everyone could hear. After this he then put her or more accurately dumped in the middle of the waiting area and told her they would see her sometime. When she asked him "did he know how long she would have to wait" he simply told her they would be as long as it took then said goodbye and walked off. He did all this while standing behind her and was off hand in his tone and attitude, she looked ill and totally lost. This is not how you treat a person in a wheelchair the very least you do is to acknowledge them and be at their level and give assurance and some sort of empathy. You ask them where they would like to be not just dump them anywhere. To be dismissive and off hand is unacceptable behavior. This could be me it could be you and a person of that age and in that condition should have nothing less than there needs fully met which includes a total respect for there dignity. The one saving grace was that the lady was seen quite quickly, thank goodness.

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Response from Southmead Hospital

Dear Anonymous. Thank you for taking the time to advise us of this incident. I am very concerned to hear that a patient received this unacceptable level of care, it falls far short of expected staff behaviour. If you are able to advise us of the date and time of this event then we will follow it up with the staff concerned to ensure that this regrettable event is not repeated. The Trust is implementing an iCARE initiative, which is designed to ensure all staff recognise the effect their interaction can have and learn to understand how patients perception can be affected by their attitude and actions. I would also like to apologise that the booking-in system was not effective on this occasion and created an unnecessary wait for you. Kind Regards – Steve Sykes Advice and Complaints Team

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