"Respect and dignity for a patient"

About: Queen Margaret Hospital / Cardiology

(as a relative),

LMy elderly mother is due to have major surgery next week and in the pre -assessments leading up to this I am concerned at the lack of dignity shown to her at a visit to The Queen Margaret Hospital in Dunfermline recently.

The overall help has though been fantastic, the care shown sympathetic and extremely kind and helpful.

I am writing though to highlight a situation that I feel is something that could be very easily improved.

My mother was having an Echo-cardiogram with a member of staff who was very professional in everything they did.

For the procedure my mother was asked to take off her clothes up top and slip on a hospital gown which she did.

However, during the clinical procedure where my mother was sitting on the hospital bed, covered only by the ill fitting hospital gown open at the front, when a fellow nurse opened the curtain, came in and asked the member of staff with my mum a question that had nothing to do with my mother's procedure.

I was shocked and kick myself that I didn't say something at the time that this member of staff who just walked in was a man and at the time my lovely mother was sitting with her boobs showing due to the nature of the procedure.

He could have and should have remained outside the curtain and could have asked the question just as easily if it was that important.

My point is that can someone please just remind the hospital staff that a patient may only be in the hospital a few times in their life and to have their dignity taken away in such a way is just awful for them. My mother was unable to say anything as the procedure was taking place and I was simply too slow to realise that he wasn't there for any purpose to help my mother until he had gone.

The member of staff with my mother was excellent and I don't know the name of the male member of staff. Please just pass on my concern to the hospital and remind them not to make the patients feel so awful?

I would be very grateful if you would reply to this message and ease my mothers concern that she will be treated with better dignity when she goes for her operation next week?

Kind regards,

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Response from Louise Ewing, Patient Relations Manager, NHS Fife

picture of Louise Ewing


Thank you for your email. I am sorry that I missed the opportunity to respond to you sooner. I do hope things went OK for your mother on returning to hospital. The situation you describe must have been very embarassing for your mother and I am sure that staff will also feel embarassed when they read this, as it is likely they have not stopped to think about the implication of a simple action. It is helpful that you have brought this to our attention and I want to assure you that I will pass this on to appropriate staff to make sure this important message is re iterated to all.

Thank you for taking the time to give us this feedback, it is most valuable


Louise Ewing

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