"She was unaware she was doing something wrong"

About: Russells Hall Hospital / General surgery

(as a relative),

My sister had an appointment at the Georgiana Unit, Russell's Hall Hospital recently to collect her second round of oral chemotherapy. She was initially seen by a nurse who left my sister with her notes while the nurse went and collected the tablets. My sister's notes were left open and she decided to have a look at them, they were then promptly snatched out of my sisters hand by another nurse who said "You're not allowed to read those" and walked off.

The original nurse then returned, puzzled as to where the notes were-my sister explained that she had been told off and that the notes had been taken away.

The nurse then went to find the notes and returned. The nurse did explain that notes can only be looked at if you write a request letter, which my sister was unaware of, and they then began discussing my sister's treatment. During the discussion the nurse who snatched the notes came and interrupted them to offer what can only be described as a confrontational apology.

Had the nurse in question been bothered to read the notes, the nurse might have been able to appreciate exactly what my sister has been through the last three months! How can someone in the 'caring profession' speak to a cancer patient in this way?

My sister didn't realise how upset it had made her feel until after she left and she told me about it and I am also upset and angry that my sister was spoken to in this way. She was unaware she was doing something wrong, a simple "I'm sorry but you can't read those I'm afraid" would have sufficed but the reaction she got was totally uncalled for and unacceptable!

Do you have a similar story to tell? Tell your story & make a difference ››


Response from Alice Ford, Communications and Staff Engagement Officer, Communications and Patient Experience, The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback about your sister’s visit to the Georgina Unit. We would like to assure you that we take all comments seriously and act upon them as part of our on-going commitment to improving patient experience.

Our aim is always to offer the highest standards of care and experience and we would like to apologise if we fell short of those standards during your sister’s visit to hospital.

Unfortunately, due to our information governance processes, patients are not allowed to look at their medical notes unless they have made a formal request in writing by contacting the Access to Health Records team. However, you are quite right to point out that there is an appropriate way to inform patients of this and we would certainly not expect staff to snatch notes or speak rudely to any of our patients.

We have passed your comments on to the lead nurse for this area who will make her staff aware of your comments. Please accept our sincerest apologies for any offence or upset that was caused. Thank you, again, for taking the time to post your feedback. Please pass on our best wishes to your sister.

  • {{helpful}} of {{total()}} people think this response is helpful