"A depressing experience at my husband's surgical consultation"

About: Leeds General Infirmary

(as a relative),

My husband, who has bowel cancer, was in this hospital for a surgical consultation and preoperative assessment.

While we were waiting in the examination cubicle, it was possible to overhear all the intimate and personal details of the consultation with the patient in the next cubicle. This lack of privacy is not acceptable.

In the pre-assessment area, there was only one female and one male toilet for all the patients and no water cooler or food/drink dispensing machine. Given that many patients are waiting here for some considerable time for all their tests, this is not adequate.

In addition, the environmentin the Brotherton wing is extremely depressing for anyone, particularly those in ill health, with peeling paint, uncomfortable seating, old fashioned and ill-fitting metal windows and worn floors. All-in-all this was a very depressing experience for someone about to undergo surgery.

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Response from Patient and Public Involvement Lead, Leeds PCT

Thank you for taking the time to share you and your husband's experience at Leeds General Infirmary.

I was sorry to hear that the experience was unsatisfactory both in the examination cubicle and the pre-assessment area.

I shall make sure your comments are passed to the Patient Relations Manager at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.

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Response from Involvement Facilitator, NHS Leeds

Please accept our apologies and regret for the distress you and your husband experienced when attending an appointment for a surgical consultation and pre-operative assessment at the Leeds General Infirmary. You are quite right when you say that a lack of privacy is not acceptable during a consultation between a doctor and a patient. It is recognised that the Brotherton Wing has been long overdue for refurbishment and work is currently in progress to make improvements in this area and address the issues you raised in your comments. This also includes making the consulting rooms more soundproof. The work is currently being undertaken and should you and your husband have to attend another appointment I hope you will find the experience a much more pleasant one.

With regard to the Pre-assessment area there are additional toilets located within the Medical Outpatient department nearby. While hot drinks are not able to be provided there is usually a jug of fresh water and cordial available every day for the use of patients.

If you would like to discuss this through in more detail please do not hesitate to contact Patient Relations Department 0113 2067168

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Response from Underimpressed

Thank you for your response to my letter of compliant as underimpressed regarding outpatient facilities at the LGI

I was very pleased to learn that improvements are under way in the Brotherton wing Outpatients I am sure this will be greatly appreciated by the patents.

Regarding the lack of toilet facilities, if there are additional toilets in a nearby area, we did not find any. So, perhaps a sign could be used to direct patients to these. There was no such sign on our visit.

There was also certainly no jug of water or cordial available on our visit. In any case, I do not think a jug of fluid, which may sit around unprotected for some considerable time, is a very hygienic way of providing water in a medical facility. Maybe a water cooler and some disposable cups in the outpatient area could be provided.

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Response from Involvement Facilitator, NHS Leeds

Thank you for taking the time to respond. The Matron will look into the signage to identify how it can be improved and will remind staff about changing the water regularly.

Thank you once again for bringing this to our attention.

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