"Bad manners"

About: Freeman Hospital

I took my 84yr old father in law to the ENT dept. Whilst waiting to be seen we saw a HCA (health care assistant) sitting at the ENT emergency reception for 15 mins talking to the receptionist about their personal life. We could hear ever word they were saying. A different HCA then took us in to see the consultant. The HCA staying in the room The consultant left for a few minutes to get some information for us. As soon as they left the HCA took their mobile phone out of their pocket and started texting. They made no attempt to talk to my father in law and totally ignorned us as if we werent there. As soon as the consultant came back they quickly hid their mobile in their pocket. There is definite need for training on communication skills, good manners and mobile phone etiquette. It's time HCA's had a governing body and a professional code of conduct to follow in the same way as nurses and doctors do. The bad manners we saw give other NHS workers a bad name. Let's see how things are when we return for a review appointment in 6 weeks. By the way, the consultant was lovely, explained everything and was very thorough and patient. Unfortunately the dept was let down by 2 HCA' s who were more focussed on their social lives. Very sad to see.

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Response from Freeman Hospital

Thank you for the time taken to leave feedback on your recent experiences in the ENT Department at the Freeman Hospital. Firstly we would like to apologise for your experience of staff behaviour whilst your father in law was receiving care and treatment in the Newcastle Hospitals. The Sister of the Department has had a meeting with all members of the Outpatient staff regarding your observations and feedback, and has reiterated that this is not acceptable, and reinforced the expected standards of care and communication. As you suggested, staff will be attending further training in customer care and the Trust’s mobile phone policy has been robustly reinforced to all staff. We are disappointed that both you, and your father in law, had such a poor experience when attending the ENT Outpatient Department and hope you accept our sincere apologies.

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