"Made to feel like I was wasting her time"

About: Royal Bournemouth General Hospital

I was referred to this department by my dentist because, whilst visiting for a checkup, I mentioned that I was concerned that I had some inflammation on the roof of my mouth, towards the back, which was sometimes slightly raised and it was worrying me. She examined my mouth and agreed. I waited sometime for my appointment date - 16th Oct 2014 at 14:15. Unfortunately I was 10 minutes late for my appointment due to the excessive amount of people trying to park. On my arrival into the dept. I apologised for being late. I waited only 5 - 10 mins to be seen. A very stern lady called out my name and led my into the examination room. She introduced the examiner to me and sat in the corner of the room like a invigilator. The examiner asked me some health questions etc, then proceeded to examine my mouth. She said, screwing her nose up and raising her shoulders in a very flippant way, "there is nothing there, I don't know why you have been referred". I explained what the problem was and that in fact I could feel something raised on the roof of my mouth there and then. She looked again and went through the same casual reply. She said she would ask her colleague to take a look. I heard her outside the of the room saying "there is nothing there" and basically making me feel like I was wasting her time. During this time the invigilator had no expression or signs of making me feel more comfortable about the situation. The examiner returned to the room and said that her colleague was not available, still in a flippant way which made me feel again like I was wasting her time. I was quite upset with the way I was being treated so I stood up and said that I was sorry that she obviously thought I was wasting her time and that I expect I would be ok and that actually I didn't much like her attitude! I left in tears. I am sure that this newly qualified medical examiner is highly regarded in her line of work, however, in my opinion she needs to be taught a few lessons in how to handle patients and make some considerable improvements to her "bedside manner".

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Response from Royal Bournemouth General Hospital

Dear Alison and Chris Pardy Please can I thank you for taking the time to post your experience within the Oral Maxillofacial department. It is so disappointing to know that staff attitudes made you feel you were wasting their time. We take all our patient feedback very seriously and have addressed your concerns with the management team for the department. They have looked into this matter and have asked me to share their response below. “We have reviewed our notes and your story will be shared at our weekly staff meeting. Staff will be reminded about the importance of caring for every patient with compassion and the importance of supportive communication. Individuals will be managed and please do not allow this poor experience to reflect on all staff as this is not our normal standards of care and usually we get very positive feedback. Please can you contact our Patient Advice and Liaison service on 01202 704886 or PALS@rbch.nhs.uk or alternatively ask your Dentist to arrange another appointment so that we can insure that your concerns have been addressed and hopefully reassure you with a clinical decision”. I apologise again for your poor experience. Kind regards Yours sincerely Sue Mellor Head of Patient Engagement

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