"Unpleasant experience"

About: NHS Tayside / East Scotland Breast Screening Centre

(as the patient),

Had my first mammogram today via NHS Tayside Breast Screening Service. Very efficient, very brisk, but completely without any personality or empathy whatsoever. Most NHS appointments and procedures I have experienced in other disciplines highlights the amazing empathy and friendliness of NHS staff. 

I left today feeling like a piece of meat with a number.

Given most women are likely to feel slightly anxious for these appointments, perhaps staff should be reminded that this is not a daily occurrence for us like it is for them. I was reminded it was a 6 minute slot before I went in. Even if 1 minute of that was spared for some humanity, it would feel so much better.

I had to sit in my car for a few minutes afterward as it was such an unpleasant experience. Time is obviously money, but please, don't make it so obvious that targets are more important than people!


Response from Alison Moss, Feedback Manager, NHS Tayside

Dear "TM68"

Many thanks for taking the time to give feedback on your recent visit to Breast Imaging. I am disappointed to see that you found this to be a bad experience, which is definitely not the way we like ladies to feel. As a screening programme, we would hope that ladies find their visits a positive experience, which does then encourage them to attend for their next screen. We welcome positive and negative feed back as this is something that we learn from at all times.

As I have no exact information regarding your appointment date/location I am not able to discuss this with the actual mammographer herself, however, your experience has been shared with all staff to make sure that your issue is addressed.

We do not have targets as such as a screening programme, however, breast screening requires precise and accurate positioning of our ladies at speed to maintain standards as set by the NHS Breast Screening Programme Guidelines. We are indeed given a short time with our ladies, but you are correct, this should always involve empathy and making a lady feel at ease.

I am sorry that you had such a negative experience and hope that has will not put you off attending any future appointments with us.

Please get in touch if I can help you any further. I can be contacted via email to mairi.tosh@nhs.net

Best wishes

Mairi Tosh

Lead Clinical Radiographer, Breast Imaging

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