"Do they think patients go deaf?"

About: North Devon District Hospital / Older people's healthcare Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital (Wonford) / Cardiology

(as the patient),

I was recently admitted through a&e (with mild heart attack) and was very well looked after there and on MAU and CCU. However I would like to point something out, as I waited in a bay in a&e I was opposite a nurses/doctors station and could easily hear what they were saying. As a member of staff it was very easy for me to know (without my name being mentioned) that they were talking about my not notes because they referred to a specific and unusual medical history. Do they think patients go deaf/blind/stupid just because they are in a&e?

The same thing happened on taw ward in Exeter (where I went for a angiogram), this time the registrar stood at the end if my bed and made a totally inappropriate comment to his team concerning this same condition. Do doctors think patients switch off totally when the are directly spoken to?

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Response from Jayne Kruszewski, Customer Relations Manager, Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust

Dear patient

Thank you for posting your comments on the website. Firstly I was very pleased to see that you were well looked after, when you attended the Emergency Department (ED) and Medical Assessment Unit (MAU) recently, however I was very concerned to read of the lack of confidentiality. Staff do try to discuss patients' medical care as confidentially as possible, and are regularly reminded of the importance of doing so, however on this occasion it clearly wasn't the case.

It can sometines be very challenging to maintain confidentiality, when staff and patients are in such close proximity as is the case in the Emergency Department, and I am really sorry that we didnt get it right on this occasion - however I will forward your comments on to the ED manager who I know will be pleased to use your experience to remind staff of the importance of maintaining patient confidentiality at all times.

If you would like to discuss your concerns in more details please contact PALs on 01271 314090 who would be happy to support you further.

Kind regards


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Response from Patient Engagement & Experience Administrator, Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust

Dear Gold698

Thank you for sharing your story. We would like the opportunity to discuss this further with you and ask if you would like to call the Patient Engagement and Experience Team on 01392 402363 or 403915

Kind regards