"Upsetting visit to Princess Royal Health Centre (CaSH)"

About: Locala Community Partnerships CIC / Kirklees Sexual Health

(as the patient),

I made a cervical screening appointment several weeks ago.

When I attended I was asked to give my date of birth by the receptionist. This was met by jeers from the young couples in the waiting room.

I then had to sit in the only waiting room and put up with jibes about 'grandma' and 'too old for sex'. After 20 minutes I asked how long I would be waiting and was told that clinics were running half an hour late. I asked if there was an alternative waiting area as I was fed up of the swearing and belching competition that was going on in the waiting room. There wasn't.

While I was in the porch making a phone call to let someone know I would be late meeting them the receptionist went into the waiting room and announced that I had been intimidated! After that I waited in the porch, when the nurse came to call me in she got my name wrong, she then chatted which could explain why the appointment were running so late.

In the treatment room there was a small amount of circulation space between the curtain and the couch and the nurse had to touch the curtains to gain access, this cannot be good infection control practice.

The door was not locked during the procedure and as the curtain did not meet the wall I felt very vulnerable.

All in all a very upsetting experience.

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Response from Gemma Fowler, Integrated Governance Clinical Manager, Locala Community Partnerships

Dear twood

Thank you for posting details of your experience and may I apologise for the fact that you found your visit upsetting. This is of course the last thing you or Locala want. Please be assured that all the issues raised in your posting will be investigated and I will provide a repsonse on here as soon as the investigation is completed.

In the meantime, if you would like to speak to me in person, please contact me on 01924 351440.



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Response from Gemma Fowler, Integrated Governance Clinical Manager, Locala Community Partnerships

Dear twood

Further to your posting on Patient Opinion, Sheena Kelly (Senior Infection Prevention and Control Nurse) visited Princess Royal and provided an update to Mark Marshall, Service Manager. Mark also investigated the issues raised and would like to issue the following response;

"Firstly I would like to apologise for your recent experience of our CaSH service. We have made every effort to speak to those who may have been involved in the delivery of your care. Although we do not have your details, things within your post resonate with some of the staff members so we have been able to investigate to a limited extent.

In terms of the waiting area, unfortunately this area is shared by other services and we cannot always control who is using it. However, all receptionists have been reminded that there are things they can do to maintain patient confidentiality and we are currently exploring the use of an automated "booking in" computer system for appointments to enhance confidentiality.

Whilst we strive to run our appointments to time, occasionally they can run over; for example if there is an emergency or if a consultation is more complicated. However, we now have a system in place to ensure that if the waiting time exceeds ten minutes then patients will be made aware so that they have the option to wait or re-book. With regards to the nurse "chatting," part of the nurse’s role is to try and make clients feel comfortable and perhaps that was what she was trying to do. We would expect this of our nurses.

The receptionist asked the young people in the waiting room to quieten down as other patients, who were also waiting, could find it intimidating. The receptionist did not mean that you had been intimidated personally and would like to apologise if it came across that way.

Again, our apologies if your name was called incorrectly. It is believed that the nurse called out your middle name instead of your first name. We have asked staff to be vigilant when calling out names.

In terms of the door not being locked this is standard procedure in case of emergencies. However, dignity and privacy is of our upmost concern and any member of staff wishing to access a consultation room where the door is closed knock first and wait for a response. In relation to members of the public, we have a newly installed door lock access along the corridor that leads to clinic rooms restricting access to staff only.

With regards to infection control, our Senior Infection Control Nurse has been out to visit Princess Royal and has gone through with staff current procedures and made recommendations for change which are being implemented.

As a service we are happy to receive feedback and always strive to improve our services. Your feedback has helped us to put changes in place to improve things.

Thank you again


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Update posted by twood (the patient)

Thank you for looking into my complaint. I am glad you are addressing the infection control issues.

The name that was used to call me was not and never has been my middle, first or last name. The chatting was a monologue of the trials of patients turning up in an emergency and how is she supposed to see so many patients and how over worked she is. If this is the kind of 'putting patients' at ease that you require of your nurses it is no wonder that appointments run 40 minutes late.

I don't think having staff knocking on doors waiting for a response does anything for the dignity of having a cervical smear.

Response from Gemma Fowler, Integrated Governance Clinical Manager, Locala Community Partnerships

Dear twood

Mark Marshall would like to respond as follows;

"As mentioned in the previous response, without actual patient details it is difficult to invetsigate fully, therefore there may be some inaccuracies (like the name called).

With regard to the "staff knocking on doors", rooms would only be accessed in case of an emergency. Staff do not walk in and out of consulting rooms when patients are being treated and may I apologise if my response led you to believe otherwise.

Thank you again for sharing details of your experience. All posts are used to inform service delivery.


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