"The hospital should provide a more private area to wait"

About: William Harvey Hospital / Trauma and orthopaedics

(as the patient),

I was referred for xray to my lower back having experienced pain and mobility problems.

I was asked to undress and don a gown in a cubicle, keep my own clothes with me in a basket (provided) and wait in the open waiting area until called. I made a face and said I was not comfortable about sitting in a hospital gown and my ankle boots in the very busy waiting room, so a very friendly nurse suggested I sit just down the corridor from the cubicles which was slightly more private. I do think it is important to consider a patient's feelings about modesty.

At the age of 67 despite being a confident and outgoing lady, I am no longer a young woman and have more dignity than I used to have! I appreciate that the department was very busy and I am grateful for that friendly nurse, with whom I had a nice chat whilst waiting, but I feel that when the x-ray requires the patient to undress, the hospital should provide a more private area for them to wait.

Having said all that, the treatment I received was excellent and the outcome was more than satisfactory - it appears that the problem is due to age-related osteoarthritis which I can now manage with my GP's help.

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Response from Sally Smith, Chief Nurse and Director Of Quality, East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you so of much for your feedback. I will certainly ask the staff to consider what you have experienced as I can imagine this must have felt slightly awkward for you. I will ask them to consider ways we can improve the environment so that we can maintain people's modesty and dignity in a better way. Thank you for your kind comments about the staff.


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Response from William Harvey Hospital

I am so sorry to learn that your dignity was not properly attended to. I can appreciate the discomfort you felt. Sadly it is difficult in the busy hospital environment to provide more private areas in which to sit, but I am glad to learn that the nurse helped you with a more private area and kept you company while you waited. I am glad to learn that the treatment you received was so good and that you now have a way forward in being able to manage your condition.

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