"Family Planning Services"

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I attended MCH this week for an appointment with Family Planning Services. I was very pleased to find both the hospital and the reception staff were friendly, welcoming and helpful. However, my experience with family planning was less than pleasant. The first issue I encountered, was discussion of my casefile in a public corridor. I initially disregarded this, as I was not embarrassed by what was discussed; however I believe it was a little unprofessional.

My main concerns were with the hostile way in which I was dealt with in the treatment room. I explained the events surrounding my visit in full, in a polite, thorough and friendly manner. However, the response I received was belittling, accusatory, unaccommodating and lacked any sort of understanding or empathy. I was surprised to be treated in this way as a member of the public availing of an NHS service.

I believe the issue, which led to a minor confusion, was a direct result of miscommunication between a number of services. The way in which it was addressed however had the distinct feeling of a reprimand which one would receive in a work environment. Initially, I kept reiterating the particular circumstaces of my situation. I eventually tired of having to defend myself and challenged the unsavoury treament. Subsequently, the person in question softened their approach a little. Although, the accusatory tone and continuing reminder of what was perceived to be my error, remained throughout. Throughout my encounter, there was never any acknowledgment of my being mis-informed by another service, with the offering of a possible solution.

A most accommodating health-care assistant stepped in offering a quick solution with ease. Following the incident, I was shown to another treatment room to a member of staff whom I felt very comfortable with. However, the senior person on duty, whom I had received the disdainful treatment by, came into this treatment room also to provide an update and once again persisted in reminding me of what they perceived to be my incompetence with the situation. I believe I was unfairly treated and was so upset by the entire experience that when I returned home, I rescheduled my appointment to attend a different clinic.

I am disappointed that I've had this experience, as any previous experience I have had with family planning services has been pleasant and professional.

Story from NHS Choices

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