"Experience marred by cold attitude of one member..."

About: Scunthorpe General Hospital

On November 5th I had an angiogram at Scunthorpe Hospital. The experienced X-ray team were kind, helpful and professional. The doctor carried out the procedure ( radial) expertly. But I was left absolutely perplexed by a nurse on the Planned Investigations Unit where I was admitted. When I arrived the nurse was friendly and jolly, and making jokes, good humour and chattiness made me feel welcome and at ease. But when the nurse and a student nurse came down to fetch me back after the angiogram it might have been a different person. The nurse didn't ask me how I was - in fact said nothing at all. Perplexed by this mysterious change in attitude as the nurse wheeled me back in unsmiling silence, I asked if they were all right. The nurse replied with one word, "Yes". When we got back to the ward where I had to stay in bed for the next four or five hours the nurse remained cold, almost hostile, and aloof. I'd been told to bring slippers but at no time was I told when was I could put them on, so in the locker they stayed. I'd also been told to bring a book to read but the nurse didn't offer to get it from my locker, and I couldn't reach it as my arm was incapacitated. Throughout the remainder of this nurse's time on the ward they did their best to avoid eye contact or speak to me. As I say, the nurse never asked me how the angiogram had gone or how I felt. It was such an unbelievable contrast to their earlier friendliness that I was left baffled and bewildered, thinking I must have upset the nurse in some way. But I hadn't of course. It demonstrated a total lack of empathy as to the effect such a deliberate personality change might have on a patient. It goes without saying that the nurse went off duty without a word of goodbye. Let me state clearly that I would have much preferred a professional consistency than the unfeeling lurch from friendliness and banter to discourteous coldness.

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Response from Scunthorpe General Hospital

Hello Peter, thank you very much for your comments, I'm sorry to hear about this and can appreciate it must have felt unsettling. Your feedback has been shared with the relevant managers who regularly reinforce with staff the importance of good, consistent patient communication and certainly most nurses do usually demonstrate this. As I say, I'm sorry it wasn't the case on this occasion. Warm regards, Sarah Mainprize

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