"Bully receptionist"

About: St Helier Hospital / Ear, Nose and Throat

I attended my audiology appointment and was checked in with no problems and was advised to sit and wait. Shortly afterwards the receptionist disappeared so many patients were left hovering around the narrow entrance waiting for someone to acknowledge their arrival. After about 15 mins the receptionist returned and offered no apology for keeping the elderly patients standing at reception. Abruptly the receptionist began to register who had arrived and I couldn't help but notice their curt manner. One older chap started asking the receptionist questions about his hearing aid and I was shocked when the receptionist shouted at him telling him not hand his hearing aid to them and just say it's not working. Being a health care professional myself I was appalled at how this receptionist thought it was acceptable to bully this older man in front of us. Another waiting patient could not believe it either. After waiting a while the waiting room was almost empty with the exception of myself and someone new registering in. My 2 year old son decided to go to the reception area - he was looking at what was going on in the corridor outside. Anyone with young children knows that at this young age most kids won't sit still on a chair. The receptionist literally yelled at me to keep my son away from the reception area as their were people there with walking sticks. I could not believe the way I was spoken to. As a health care professional if I dared to speak to any of my patients the way this receptionist spoke to me I would be up in front of my regulatory body (& quite rightly so). I was watching my son like a hawk and there was only one patient at reception and who didn't have a walking stick. If the receptionist didn't want my son to be near the reception area they could have asked me politely and I wouldn't have minded. Clearly this receptionist has some major attitude issues. When I was seen by the professional members of staff they all dealt with my son in a fantastic manner. My 2 year old was being a 2 year old and at no point did anyone make me feel as though he was a nuisance. In fact I can't fault how good the professional team were at handling him. It's a worry how the unqualified front line staff are grossly letting down the whole team. This receptionists behaviour was unacceptable and to top it off their attire was far from professional. This is a health and safely issue as if the receptionist trips they could injure someone.

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Response from St Helier Hospital

We are very sorry to hear this, and have passed your feedback on to the service manager. If you would like to discuss your experience further, please contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on 020 8296 2508 or email pals@esth.nhs.uk.

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