"The worst anyone had ever treated her in a hospital"

About: Lincoln County Hospital / X-ray and Scans

(as a relative),

I have attended the Medical Physics Department this morning to accompany my wife for tests. Initially she was due to have a Nuclear Medicines Injection where the staff called my wife in and asked if I would like to listen as they explained the process. These nurses were very helpful and polite, explaining everything clearly and checking to see if both my wife and I understood the process and possible side effects. My wife was quite nervous and they reassured her to provide comfort. Once the test was complete they escorted my wife out to the green room and asked me to go in as well as she was distressed due to the side effects.

We waited the prescribed hour before NM MPS MIBI. Tf stress gated was due to take place. This is where our experience was vastly different. A person, we don't know if she was a radiologist, nurse or cleaner came in to the green room and called my wife’s name. as my wife went to stand up this person realised we were together and ordered (and there is no other way to put that) me out of the green room as there were other patients in the area. This was said abruptly and without any courtesy. I was not given opportunity to explain why I was there nor was any compassion shown towards my wife, the patient.

My wife then undertook the test where she struggled somewhat due to still being in a agitated state, but this was not taken account of by this person doing the test and the orders just kept being barked at her. When she came out of the test she stated that was the worst anyone had ever treated her in a hospital.

Can I please ask that the supervisor of this person is made aware of the lack of compassion, dignity and respect this member of ULHT staff shows toward patients as I’m sure we will not be the only ones receiving this level of disrespectful treatment. I do not know the member of staff name as she never introduced herself but the above test took place in the department detailed above. Perhaps this persons manager could consider some interpersonal skills training or a position where she does not have contact with patients. If she is a nurse or registered professional, she should be ashamed of herself.

Unfortunately we have to attend the same department again tomorrow. Hopefully we will not have to see this same person for a second time

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Response from United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust

Dear Gladin,

Thank you for bringing your concerns to our attention. I deeply apologise for the way you and your wife were made to feel in our department today. We often have patients who are nervous about their test and our staff will always spend extra time to ensure they are completely happy before proceeding with the investigation, as the nurses did with your wife. I sorry that after this, her experience was not desirable.

Our normal practice is that friends and relatives cannot remain in the ‘Green Room’ if other injected patients are present, to ensure their radiation dose (due to proximity to nearby injected patients) is as low as possible.

The staff member concerned is very experienced and was shocked to hear how they were perceived by yourself and your wife. She was very keen to apologise to your wife directly so that neither of you would worry about returning to the department for the subsequent appointment. Our standard procedure is for staff to introduce themselves to patients/relatives before proceeding with the test preliminaries. This obviously didn’t happen on this occasion, for which we apologise. All members of staff will be reminded about this important part of the overall procedure, so your comments should help ensure that such an incident is not repeated in future.

I’m sorry if your wife did not feel at ease during the scan, staff members try not to interact much with the patient to reduce the risk of patient movement which often requires the scan to be repeated.

Again can I apologise for your experience today and I hope that your visit tomorrow will be much more relaxed and pleasant.

Laura L White

Consultant Physicist

Pan Trust Deputy Head of Nuclear Medicine

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Update posted by Gladin (a relative)

Thank you Laura

Yes we did return today and all the staff were very polite and respectful. I fully appreciate the policy you have regarding the Green Room, but as I was asked to go in and comfort my wife by one of your team, my presence there was legitimate.

Yes we did get an apology from the member of staff concerned and thank you for that.

I also understand the policy of minimal interaction with patients while the scan is active, but when the procedure goes unexplained and the staff member makes a number of phone calls with her back to the patient this policy goes to another level where the patient feels ignored and confused.

Thank you for your response and action on this. if it makes a difference to other patients experience then it has served its purpose.