"Poor staff attitude towards some patients"

About: Newham General Hospital

When I visited Newham Hospital I was treated fairly well.

However my concern is about the way I witnessed a couple of patients who clearly didn't have English as their first language being treated rather abruptly and rudely by one of the admin staff. One patient had difficulty understanding instructions he was being given but the staff member just started speaking louder and louder at him. They did not modify their language and did not help him at all make a phone call to his GP to get some information they needed from him. Later I overheard them say to a colleague " well it's not my job to do that". They sent the patient away and then turned to me (I was sitting near the area) and said " Oh that was hard work". I did not want to be rude so I just looked away. I think they thought because I was a native English speaker I would agree. Later two other patients came in. One was a white English speaking man who they treated very courteously. The other was an Asian woman and her daughter who they treated like they did not understand and their manner was again quite abrupt and unhelpful with them.

I find this behaviour unacceptable, even though it was not directed at me. I am unhappy to see some patients treated in this way and I hope the hospital at least run compulsory staff training sessions on how to communictate better with all patients and stamp out any prejudiced views.

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Response from Newham General Hospital

We are very sorry to hear that our patients have been spoken to in this way and that our staff members were unhelpful.

We would like to look into the incident that has occurred here in more detail and to identify possible areas where our staff may need training. For us to do this we would need you to provide us more detailed information about the department you visited and when your appointment was. Please contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) at pals@bartshealth.nhs.uk or by calling 020 3594 2040 to discuss the concerns you have raised.

Kind regards

Barts Health NHS Trust

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