"Lack of confidentiality and empathy"

About: Wishaw General Hospital / Gynaecology

(as the patient),

Today I was booked in for an initial appointment for a termination of my pregnancy. The two nurses were fabulous and should be blessed of their empathetic attitude.

The doctor I saw though was the most emotionless human being I have ever come across. I felt like I was just a number in a long list and it was one of many thousands of appointments they have done. The nurse told me that during the scan the screen would be out of my view and I would not hear or see anything. This was not the case as the doctor, without asking, flipped the screen round to my eyes and said "look that's it there".

I feel that this has been one of many reasons why I have decided not to go through with the termination.

Also, as myself and my partner were in the waiting area with a few other women, we could all hear other nurses at the end of the corridor openly speak, with a loud voice, about myself and the other women. One nurse said to a girl who had just arrived that she "has been here before" and then said to another nurse "yeah she was here two weeks ago but didn't go through with it, are you going to go through with it now?"

I feel that this is very disrespectful and a breach in confidentiality as I myself work in the hospital, and would never openly talk about patients as loud as they did.

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Response from Irene Barkby, Executive Director of Nursing, Midwifery & Allied Health Professions, NHS Lanarkshire

picture of Irene Barkby

Dear Asil25,

I would like to offer my most sincere apologies for the most inappropriate lack of confidentiality and empathy that was displayed by some members of staff during your recent visit to the Hospital. I cannot begin to imagine the additional stress this must have caused at what was already a stressful point in your life.

This is clearly not the standard of care I and others would have expected you to receive and I will ask the site Director, Chief Nurse and Associate Medical Director to discuss this with the relevant staff and work with them to ensure there is no recurrence of such issues.

I will also ensure the nurses who did show you the empathy we would all expect are positively acknowledged for doing so.

Thank you for taking the time to bring this to our attention.

Yours sincerely,

Irene Barkby

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