"Colposcopy - did not feel involved"

About: Kent & Canterbury Hospital

I have attended the colposcopy unit twice following an abnormal smear.

First time I was given a calm and reassuring explanation by the nurse, their examination was well explained and I felt very much part of what was happening.

The second time I was seen by a doctor.

I was given no choice in the gender of the doctor.

In the pre consultation, the doctor gave me the impression they were gong to carry out a biopsy before they examined me.

I had not expected this - the letter did not say this might be an option.

In the procedure, which physically was carried out well, the doctor described what they were seeing but not what it meant.

The doctor carried out a biopsy.

I was given no choice or option.

I was due to fly on a international long haul later in the day and I was not able to mention this.

I felt completely powerless and 'done to.

I had to leave distressed and then call back and speak to the accompanying nurse to try to make sense of what had happened, what would happen next and what the outcomes might be.

Whilst it is fine to say 'have you any questions' repeatedly, when you are a woman lying there being examined intimately it is very hard to think straight when the procedure had already been determined.

Not at all happy.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Sally Smith, Chief Nurse and Director Of Quality, East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for getting in touch and providing us with this feedback. I am so sorry to hear of this distressing experience. If you would like us to look into your concerns please email me on Sally.smith2@nhs.net and I will ask the team to make contact with you and talk you through any unanswered questions.

I am so sorry that we didn't take the time we should have to explain what was happening and give you a chance to think through what options there were for you. I do hope you are now recovering well.

Best regards,


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