"The consultant"

About: Heartlands Hospital

I was recently referred to the outpatients department for urology by my G.P. This is a daunting experience for any teenager but made none the more easier by the lack of professionalism provided by the staff none more so horrifying then a consultant at the hospital whereby this profession is revered to say the least. I did not expect much of a service from the hospital, but what I did expect was a little sensitivity instead it seemed that this was too much to ask. Not only was I under the impression that I would be seen by the Consultant Urologist or a member of his/her team as quoted in the confirmation letter I had received, but found out that the consultant's team was all male. Then when I had politely requested if it was possible for me to be examined by a female I was told that it was not possible for me to be examined by a female doctor or a consultant or a nurse as female consultants were not employed by the service provider. This I could believe but then to my horror what did I see but hundreds of nurses roaming around the clinic so not only was I not given an explanation as to why I was not able to have a nurse examine me - veering on unprofessional - or to the least have been present with me while I was being examined, but had been lied to as well by the very person employed by the hospital to provide a service to patients. To say the least I had been sceptical of the NHS for numerous years having been waiting for an appointment at a clinic such as this for near to five years. The conclusion to my appointment: another referral to a hospital clinic (apparently where there are more nurses available), low self confidence/esteem and a severely lesser opinion of consultants. God help the NHS if they are ever to run out of female nurses. I arrived in the hope of getting treatment but left less than satisfied with the service I had received and much less healthier. I am 18 going on 80 (in terms of my quality of life) and I pity this hospital if similar to this, a patient is ignored simply because they were not comfortable with the gender afforded to their practitioner and I therefore apologise if this caused any confusion on my part, but I had specifically requested in my referral request for a female practitioner to examine me due to devotion to my faith and as such were for religious reasons and was in no part a reflection of the consultants medical skills though much could have been said for his "bedside manner" and professional skills. To finish what can I say about a department that specialises in the study and treatment of disorders of the urinary tracts in men and women, but could not distinguish in a simple confirmation letter whether the urology specialists were male or female. I am astonished. To add to this this experience has shunned me from ever seeking any other medical advice or support ever again.

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Response from Marie Helebert, Patient Services Officer, Patient Services, Heart of England Foundation Trust

Dear Madam

Thank you for your feedback regarding your recent visit to Heartlands Hospital Urology Service.

I am very sorry that you were unhappy with the service you received, and the way you felt you were treated. I would like to reassure you that we take seriously any issues our patients and families raise with us and we value patient feedback as it is very important.

I would like the opportunity to look into your experience in more detail and do everything I can address your concerns.

Can I please ask you to contact me on 0121 424 0808 or by email:

marie.helebert@heartofengland.nhs.uk so that I can obtain more information.

I look forward to hearing from you.

With Kind Regards

Marie Helebert

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