"worst behaviour by staff and PALS- not our pals"

About: Royal Free Hospital

After waiting 1 1/2 hours to have 5 blood tests-dont mind waiting-, I was told one of the tests would have to take place elsewhere in the hospital due to the doctors not understanding that certain tests have to be done elsewhere for certain reasons. They then very rudely told me to go this other place and have the tests done there and when I asked if I would also have to wait an hour and a half there, they said 'yes probably'. I asked why I wasn't told and the phlebotomist told me 'we tell the doctors but they don't listen.'

I asked what the test was for but they said they only knew the code and not what it was for. They very rudely said 'it's up to you' and was very rude again.'

I asked for the test label which they had already shown me and told them I was going directly back to the doctor with it. At once, like magic, they had a personality change and using my name, smiled and said 'Oh no I'll do it for you and take it down there'. All the blood tests were completed in under 5 minutes but I don't trust them and so don't trust what the tests will show either.

But that wasn't the end of my worst day in hospital. The prescription I was given could only be filled by Lloyds pharmacy in the hospital which is something I have never heard of. There were 2 non-moving long queues with 1 employee I wasn't able to stand there. No prescription was either handed in nor out. I would have been another 1 1/2 hours in that queue and am not well enough to stand that long. Why couldn't it be filled elsewhere like any other prescription. I went to the entrance to wait for my lift and there was one row of chairs, all taken and a lot of noise and confusion. Being ill, having high BP, being partially sighted and partially deaf, it was all too much. I kept walking wondering if I would soon just drop, when I saw to the side some empty purple chairs. There was no one there. This was PALS. I sat on an outermost chair, there were no other patients and I was just trying to calm down and catch my breath when a member of staff approached me and said very brusquely 'Yes?' I said I just need to sit down for a moment please. They said the reception is just there-pointing to where I had just come from. I said 'there weren't any seats there'. They said 'well you can't sit here. This is where we hear confidential information from patients. I said' I can hardly hear or see and there are no other patients here anyway'.

By then rather than be chased off when another member of staff from PALS said it was my turn

I offered her my experience of the phlebotomist and their PALS colleague. They said they would speak to their colleague and showed where extra seating was in Imaging. But with PALS like that first one, who needs enemies, I felt a lot worse than when l arrived and my HR went up 150 and i received no concern nor caring but an apology from one PALS worker. I worked in hosptials in A&E and never treated a patient so callously no matter what their problem was.

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Response from Royal Free Hospital

Hi there, we're sorry to hear about your experience and we would like to look into this further. We would be grateful if you could email rf.communications@nhs.net with more details of when you came in, so that we can investigate. Thank you.

  • {{helpful}} {{helpful == 1 ? "person thinks" : "people think"}} this response is helpful