About: Darlington Memorial Hospital

I have been attending DMH regularly for ECGs and echocardiograms for some years now and the examination has always been carried out by a woman. Today, I was surprised to find that my echo was to be carried out by a man. I should stress that I had no objection to the staff member concerned; he was professional in his manner and very kind. However, there was nothing on my appointment letter indicating that female patients might expect a male physiologist. Given that the examination involves stripping to the waist and a certain level of physical contact, it seems reasonable that women patients be informed that a female physiologist may not be available. I wore a gown during the examination and was as much at ease as I could be, however, other women, especially those much older or much younger than me, may be less sanguine. Including this information in the appointment letter or accompanying leaflet would be a courtesy.

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Response from Darlington Memorial Hospital

Thank you for providing feedback on your recent visit to Darlington Memorial Hospital and in particular the Cardiology department. I am very pleased to hear that you had a positive experience and that you are happy with the care you received on this occasion but we take your point seriously about the letter patients receive should mention the physiologist can be either male or female. The Trust is grateful for all feedback, positive or negative, as it means we can better understand what is important to our patients, and your comments will be shared with the Head of Cardiac and Respiratory Services. Thank you for leaving your comments on NHS Choices. Patient Experience Team County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust Tel: 0800 7835774

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