"I have nothing but praise for the care I was given..."

About: Royal Free Hospital

What I liked

The consultant, doctors and nursing staff treated me with exceptional care after having surgery. I was kept in a bit longer than expected but every step of the way was explained to me and I was treated with dignity at all times. The food wasn't great but that's no big deal in the grand scheme of things!

I had previous surgery and was on the same ward, 7 West. A very well run ward led by an extremely capable Sister.

I have nothing but praise for all the care I was given at a vulnerable time.

What could be improved

I only have one complaint. On arrival at the hospital on the day of my operation, I was greeted by a nurse, and she had to fill in lots of admittance forms for me. All went well until she asked me what Ethnic Group I belonged to. I told her politely and matter of factly, I did not wish to answer this question. She asked me 'Why' and I said it was my right. She got very annoyed with me and I told her she was upsetting me. Especially as I was nervous before the operation. She said she could not understand my reasons and continued asking me why I would not put my Ethnic Group, as she had a form to fill in.

She told me I was the only person she had ever met who refused to state their ethnicity.

I was appalled. I consider this to be a violation of my rights.

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Response from Royal Free Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to tell us about your experiences of our cancer services. We’re pleased that you were happy with your care and treatment at the hospital.

We are very sorry that you were upset when you were asked to disclose your ethnic identity. This information can tell us whether we are offering equality of opportunity and treatment to all ethnic groups and it can also tell us whether we are falling short of this ideal. We have a question and answer sheet to help staff ask questions around ethnicity and it clearly states that it is the patient’s decision as to whether or not they wish to disclose their ethnic background. We apologise that this was not your experience at the hospital and we will pass on your comments to senior managers within the department.

We would invite you to get in touch with our patient advice and liaison service (PALS) on 020 7742 6446 or rfh.pals@nhs.net., so that we can follow up on your feedback.

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