"My upsetting experience with the consultant"

About: Weston General Hospital / Gynaecology

(as the patient),

I attended the hospital for this operation and it was my first experience of NHS care for very many years. I was apprehensive to say the least in view of all the horror stories one hears and reads. However, the initial impression was good. From the receptionist who greeted me, to the various nursing staff and the anaesthetist who attended to me, all were friendly, helpful and friendly, putting me at ease. I feel as if this all changed when the consultant arrived at the door of the crowded waiting room, barked my name and strode off. He did not wait to see whether I was there, whether I heard or whether I was able enough to follow him.

As it was I hurried as best I could, having recently had (private) surgery on my foot, and just caught sight of him disappearing through a door up the corridor. From the reaction of the various members of staff, who all looked on their guard around him, this was normal (which I feel was very rude) behaviour for him. I caught him up and was pointed to a chair. He then asked me to read and sign the consent form. As I had not been told that this was the purpose of my running after him, or the time to take my glasses (if I had known) I told him I couldn't see to read the form. He then made it quite clear this was most inconvenient but read it through, asked me a few questions (I thought quite rudely) told me to get my glasses, come back and sign the form where he pointed out and to leave it on the desk - and strode off.

I think if this man thinks he is too important for such a mundane task then it should be passed to someone who would take more time and care. This was all quite disconcerting, not at all reassuring, and upset and distressed me to quite a degree, happening minutes before I was led to theatre. I could hardly tell him what I thought of him just before he performed a procedure on me and it just added to the whole stressful time of having an operation. I think I made it clear to the staff that I was upset by his attitude. One of them did say that he had a very full list and a lot on his mind etc, but that was not my problem, and in any case I believe I was first on his list, surely hardly time for him to be stressed. As I say, I got the impression from all the staff around that this was not at all unusual. I have been around legal professionals all my working life but I feel none have ever treated me to this sort of rudeness.

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