"all patients should be provided with the means of maintaining dignity"

About: Gartnavel General Hospital / Medical Oncology

(as the patient),

I have been attending the Breast Clinic annually for many years.

This year the clinic was taken by a Clinical Nurse Specialist, at Gartnavel OPD. They did not pronounce my name correctly - no apology. I was then asked if the Clinical Genetics department had contacted me re a risk assessment the previous year. They had, approx 10 months before, and I had returned the relevant documentation. There was no update in my records to which I was asked twice if I was sure that I had returned the risk assessment questionnaire! I felt very disappointed, and thought that it was very patronising and no apology re this on behalf of the organisation.

Then, I was to undress for my routine examination. No privacy and no gown offered. I believe that no one should have to undress in front of a health care professional unless they require and ask for assistance, and that all patients should be provided with the means of maintaining dignity and therefore they are only exposed for a minimal period of time. This makes me worry for those who are unable to advocate for themselves.

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Response from Lisa Ramsay, Patient Experience Public Involvement Team Support, NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde

Dear River

Thank you for taking the time to post on Patient Opinion. There are a few concerns that you have raised here that occurred during your recent appointment in Gartnavel General Hospital.

Firstly, I am sorry that a member of our staff did not pronounce your name properly and that an apology for that was not given. Secondly, I am sorry that you were questioned more than once about whether you had returned the risk assessment. Lastly, you are correct that you should have been provided with privacy or offered a gown when having to undress for your examination. All patients should be provided with dignity during their care and I am sorry that this did not happen during your examination.

I will ensure that your feedback is shared with the service.

Best wishes

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Response from Lisa Ramsay, Patient Experience Public Involvement Team Support, NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde

Dear River

Thank you for providing your feedback on your recent experience on Patient Opinion. I would like to offer my sincere apology on behalf of the nursing staff regarding mispronouncing your name.

Breast examination is a very vulnerable and distressing time for patients and we always ensure that the curtains are closed round prior to undressing and we ensure that gowns are provided if the patient wishes to use them. I would like to apologise that this was not offered to you on this occasion.

Unfortunately not all documentation from Genetics is scanned on to our trakcare system immediately and often women have been to the Genetics service and are seen back at our clinic prior to a reply from our Genetics Colleagues. I am sorry if questions regarding this sounded patronising, this was never the intention. Very often the nurse needs to clarify which questionnaires have been completed in order to re-refer women back to the Genetics service. All women who attend the Family History Clinics are risk assessed in the Genetics Service. This helps to ensure that the correct mammogram surveillance is carried out as per Scottish Family History National Guidelines.

Once again, many thanks for your feedback.

Karen Bell
Clinical Services Manager

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