"The hospital building and its ..."

About: Royal Derby Hospital

(as the patient),

What I liked

The hospital building and its facilities. The nurse who supported the technician who carried out the manometry.

What could be improved

I came to the hospital for the first time on 9th November and attended the Clinical Measurement Dept for oesophagal manometry and a 24 hour PH study. The crux of my complaint is that the technician behaved completely inappropriately. We are requested not to be abusive to the staff, which we never are, but are expectd to tolerate them being abusive to us. This should work both ways.

When the technician called my name [with no 'Mrs' - overfamiliar], they very rudely stopped my husband in his tracks and told him to wait outside. I started to tell them that I wished him to remain with me throughout the procedure, that he wished to be there and that we were both fully conversant with the procedure, as well as the fact that he had been present before at similar procedures. The technician said to me, 'Who is this?' with the emphasis on the word 'is' very rudely indeed. I said that he was my husband. They were not prepared to listen to what we had to say but hustled us into the treatment room. There they ordered me to sit down, turned their back on me and spoke to my husband in a confrontational way. They siad, 'Do you realise that we are going to hurt your wife and make her sick?'. The manner, body language and words were lacking in respect, compassion and guaranteed to increase my stress levels; it seemd like an attempt to intimidate us.

My husband did stay and, although the procedure was uncomfortable, it did not hurt and I was not sick. I was greatly reassured by my husband's presence. If indeed it is your policy to keep close friends or family members outside the treatment room regardless of the pateint's wishes in cases like this, we would urge you to reconsider, as we think this is misguided. We also think that you should trust people to make sensible and intelligent descisions. My husband was present when I had a tube down the back of my throat in ENT both in at the Burton Cinic and at the Nuffield, as well as when I had a fine needle aspiration. It is no worse than childbirth.

Anything else?

When I was present at my ganddaughter's birth there was a lot more to be distresssed about but I was not turned out of the room.

When I have private trreatmenst on my BUPA policy I am treated with care, consdieration and respect and spoken to as an equal. This NHS service was a very different matter. In the end, this is a service like any other, which we, the tax payers, fund. In essence we pay the salaries of NHS staff like this technician who was so abusive to us. I feel that they need considerable training in customer care, plus a complete change of attitude towards their customers. They should begin by thinking how they can put people at their ease, perhaps by playing some quiet music and learning to empathise. We believe that we were bullied and treated in an unprofessional way.

One of my masters degrees included in depth studies of the social psychology of the hospital as an institution, the power relatonships and so on, and I have worked in a hopspital, although I now work as a manage for the Council. I feel it is important to highlight these issues as one should be treated with care and respect whether the treatment is private or on the NHS. If all patients handed over the money at the end of the treatment instead of paying via taxes I think things would be very different.

The technician also discouraged us from phoning the number pprovded for problems during the 24 hour manometry.

Luckily, I was able to keep calm throughout the procedure despite the technician's attitude and my husband continued to be polite despite their extreme rusdeness. They were lucky as many other pateints would have suffered as a result of their behaviour. I am considering whether to lodge a formal complaint especially as they did not take the opportunity to apologise on the following day when I returned to have th tube removed.

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Response from Royal Derby Hospital

We are very sorry to hear that your recent experience at the Royal Derby Hospital did not meet your expectations. We really value your feedback and take your comments very seriously. We would like to discover how and why you were treated in an unprofessional manner. To enable us to do this can you please contact our PALS team on 01332 785156 or email pals@derbyhospitals.nhs.uk to provide further details.

J. Roberts, Communications.

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