"My father's visit to the to Urology OP department"

About: Aberdeen Royal Infirmary / General Surgery

(as a relative),

We waited over 50 minutes to be seen, the student did inform the room after 40 mins that the consultant was running 50 mins late. When we were shown into the consulting room the doctor was brusque, failed to introduce himself properly, he advised my dad that he wanted to do a DRE, their was limited explanation, he raised his voice 3 times telling dad 'do not fall off the table', my father is registered partially sighted and has limited perception of depth / space.

When he came back the doctor spoke to him as if he was a child, there was limited explanation, he told him what he would do, said if he chose to have a biopsy it would be painful, there could be complications and as he looked fit and well for his age and if he had no questions he should go home. I asked if I could ask some questions, what did the PSA result mean in combination with an abnormal rather than enlarged prostate, what was the prognosis, what were his options and if he chose not to have the biopsy what were the potential consequences. He reluctantly shared with us that the PSA result was 'exceptionally high' (40), that yes the DRE felt abnormal not enlarged but he had explained without a biopsy, which was painful, would result in dad peeing blood for days and may not show anything and this was my fathers decision. I agreed that dad should make the decision but from a more informed basis, what exactly did the 2/3 results mean, he started to get agitated and quite brusque, asked me if I wanted him to be 'blunt', I suggested he might try being honest with my dad who although 86 years old is fit and competent. He did suggest combination therapy and would write to the GP, then suggested that meant they wouldn't be able to track the PSA in the future, and would Have no impact if it was cancer. We tried to ask about other tests, treatments, complications of conservative approach, the consultant was then extremely rude, told us we could come back at any time, bring the whole family if we wished and left the consulting room.

My father and sister and myself were taken aback at his behaviour but left feeling slightly bemused at what had happened. My father who is a gentleman was disappointed in the way he spoke to us but did not want to make a fuss, we have agreed that once the letter goes to the GP he will make an appointment with him to discuss his options. We are disappointed that a consultant feels he is able to behave in such a paternalistic manner and show a complete lack of courtesy / respect towards my father.

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Response from Linda Oldroyd, Nurse Consultant, Person Centred Care, NHS Grampian

Dear AG24

I would firstly like to apologise for the time it has taken to respond to your post. The delay is as a result of changes to the way in which we manage Patient Opinion in NHS Grampian.

The experience you describe is not one that we would wish for for any of our patients. Staff can behave in sub-standards ways when they are under-pressure but there is no excuse for rudeness or shouting. You were well within your rights to ask questions and seek explanations and these should have been given in a courteous and unhurried manner. This is the only way in which patients and their families can make informed decisions about their care.

I hope that you were able to work this through with your GP. If not or if you would like NHS Grampian to look into the behaviour of the consultant in more detail, please get in touch with me directly by calling me on 01343 567900 or email me at loldroyd@nhs.net

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