"Radiography scanning room not set up for a wheelchair user"

About: Friarage Hospital Site The James Cook University Hospital

(as a relative),

My relative travelled 60 miles for a bone scan at James Cook. She is undergoing treatment for breast cancer and has been a wheelchair user all her life. When she arrived today she had to wait in the corridor as the waiting room was unable to accommodate her electric wheelchair. She then realised the bed for the scanner was a fixed height and there was no hoist available to get her on the table. The radiographer offered to 'just scan an arm' - not an appropriate suggestion for a staging procedure. Undeterred, my relative managed to haul herself into the table as she was determined to undergo the procedure. I think the Bone scan room just needed a staff member with a hoist ready and willing and a positive we can sort this attitude.

Being unresponsive to her physical disability has been a recurring theme during her treatment. The mammogram equipment at the Friarage is also not designed for people who are unable to stand and she feels her mammogram scans have been compromised as a result. I recognise this is an unusual scenario but she has been in the system for 15 months now and surely having a little forward planning and forethought about access is not beyond a departments ability - assuming they are given the information in the first place? The mammogram suite staff have been lovely - but the equipment is not built for people in wheelchairs - and not easy to think how this could be improved. anxiety levels are very high understandably - but despite being in the system her physical disability seems to be met with bewilderment rather than trying to generate a solution, or having information flagged beforehand to support this approach.

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Response from Friarage Hospital Site

Good afternoon

Thank you for commenting on the South Tees Hospitals NHS Choices Website.

I am very sorry that your relative is experiencing problems accessing appropriate care in relation to the Trust’s scanning services at The James Cook University Hospital and the mammogram equipment at the Friarage Hospital, Northallerton.

Please be assured that the Trust takes all such concerns very seriously in a continuous effort to improve the services offered to patients, carers, relatives and visitors to our Trust.

I would appreciate a call on the number below to discuss how to take this enquiry forward through the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS).

Consent will be required from your relative, and we can then pass the concerns on to senior staff in the appropriate area and ask them to respond directly to you.

Please accept my apologies in the delay in responding.

I have seen this comment before, and thought I had already responded, however on contacting the NHS Choices Service Desk, I was informed that my previous response must have timed out and it was not posted.

Thank you again for contacting PALS

Margaret Robinson

IG and Patient Safety Advisor

01642 854807


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