"Shocked by tone of nurse."

About: St Mary's Hospital (London)

It's one thing for medical professionals to assess a patient as not really needing to be there. It is quite another for that patient to be belittled and scorned and insulted and have sarcastic phone calls about them made to doctors right in front of them.

I am no hypochondriac or time-waster, and had in fact been advised by a medical professional that a trip to A&E might be worthwhile if my symptoms continued. I ended up quite upset after leaving, because of the rude and downright accusatory tone of the nurse assessing me.

The waiting time in A&E was impressive, but I came out feeling upset, having had remarks made about me and right in front of me which implied that I "expected" something I apparently didn't deserve from the health service, and had judgemental and insulting remarks made about how I had responded to the symptoms in the first place.

It's understandable that doctors and nurses can get exasperated with patients they regard as nothing to worry about, but at the end of the day those patients are genuinely scared and want answers. To be instead treated and spoken to like someone who is self-entitled and knowingly wasting time and resources is not a pleasant experience for patients, especially when they are dealing with uncomfortable and worrying symptoms in the best way they can think of. I felt that the dismissive, judgemental tone used towards me was inappropriate, and felt myself wondering how many other people had undergone something similar. Really not a very pleasant experience.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from St Mary's Hospital

Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust is concerned about your posting on NHS Choices and wishes to apologise to you for your experience in the Accident and Emergency Department at St Mary’s Hospital.

We would really like to speak to you and be able to look into this further.

In the meantime I have forwarded your posting to the service managers for Accident & Emergency.

Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) can be contacted on either 0203 312 7777 or email pals@imperial.nhs.uk

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