"Extremely negative experience"

About: Ayrshire & Arran Community Services

(as a parent/guardian),

My teenage daughter has her first serious boyfriend. I have a great relationship with my daughter and wanted to be the best support for her. I took her along to the local sexual health drop in clinic in North Ayrshire.

The clinic was busy and we waited the two hours necessary for my daughter to be seen. Whilst waiting we were invited to be triaged and despite my daughter wanting me to accompany her, the nurse made me feel very uncomfortable to be accompanying my daughter. The nurses behaviour was actually quite rude in the manner in which she questioned both my daughter and myself. I had used the clinic myself years previously and found it to be a welcoming, assuring environment, which is why I thought it would put my daughter at ease.

I was told that I couldn't accompany my daughter to the appointment, which I accepted, if that's the rules then so be it, however the nurse was rude as I think they expected resistance from me. My daughter went in to see the doctor herself and when she came out she said she said that she had felt quite scared and embarrassed as the doctor questioned her about my accompanying her and said that in future she was to come herself.

Please note that I appreciate there are circumstances in which adults exploit young people however I was simply a mum wanting to provide the best possible support to her daughter at a huge milestone in both her life, and mine as a mother.

I feel that the set up of the clinic and the actions of the clinic staff turned what should have been a positive experience into one in which my daughter was not supported as she should have been as she was denied the opportunity to have me support her through her first appointment. She was told not to bring her mum to future appointments, despite the clinic being held at a hospital which is a twenty minute car journey from home, at night. I feel disempowered as a mother and my good intentions questioned.

My daughter was asked to make a further appointment to monitor her progress with her contraceptives however I feel that this service would be better provided by her GP, something I wanted to avoid due to demand on GPS and clinic provision in place. Please note that my daughter is 15 years old. Myself, and most importantly, my daughter feel that overall it was an extremely negative experience.

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Responses

Response from Eunice Goodwin, Patient Feedback Manager for NHS Ayrshire and Arran, Quality Improvement and Governance Team, NHS Ayrshire and Arran

picture of Eunice Goodwin

Dear skyxx47,

I am so sorry you found this experience to be less positive than you had expected and hoped for. I am also sorry you found staff to be rude, no one should experience rudeness from any member of staff. I am a mum to a daughter too and I understand how you must have felt by being excluded. All credit to you both for going to the clinic for this important advice and help. I hope it has not put your daughter off.

I have asked what the normal clinic practice is. What I have found out is that normal practice is to ask the parent to wait outside the consultation for the first 10 minutes so the young person can speak freely should they wish to do so. It should then be up to the young person if they wish their parent to come in for the rest of the consultation and future consultations. I am sorry if this was not the case for you and your daughter.

You may wish to discuss your experience with the senior charge nurse for the sexual health clinics. Please contact me on 01563 826222 or email me at eunice.goodwin@aapct.scot.nhs.uk if you would like me to arrange that. I am sure she will be only too happy to chat this over with you.

Kindest regards,

Eunice

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Update posted by skyxx47 (a parent/guardian)

Thank you for the helpful response Eunice and particularly for explaining the clinic protocol concerning parents accompanying their young people to the clinic. Had this been explained to my daughter and I at the clinic when my daughter registered, it would have been very helpful in guiding us on what is normal practice rather than simply being told I couldn't accompany her in a manner which made me feel awkward and wrong for wanting to accompany her. Over zealousness of applying the clinic protocol perhaps clouded staff judgement with regards to customer service. I do appreciate that my daughter is the service user and my feelings are secondary and I have spoken to my daughter and will run her to future clinic appointments but will wait in the car. Thank you again for getting back to me, I hope my feedback has been helpful.

Kind regards

Response from Eunice Goodwin, Patient Feedback Manager for NHS Ayrshire and Arran, Quality Improvement and Governance Team, NHS Ayrshire and Arran

picture of Eunice Goodwin

Dear skyxx47,

I will pass this to the team for their reflection. I think it is very helpful to stop us in the midst of our' busyness', let us step back and review. Thank you for this very helpful response.

best wishes to you and your daughter,

Eunice

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