"Sleep Centre Out Patients"

About: Papworth Hospital

Anything else?

I was rather alarmed when visiting outpatients yesterday to be told by the Receptionist that "The NHS now requires us to ask all patients which religion they follow".

As far as I am concerned, that information is nobody else's business. If I wish to tell somebody which religion, if any, I follow, that is up to me. Nobody has the right to say "We require you to tell us..."

I cannot for the life of me, understand why this information could possibly be required for an outpatient's appointment - If I were an inpatient, and required special diet as a consequence of my religion, that would be a different matter, and would be MY responsibility to inform staff - not there's to demand...

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Response from Papworth Hospital, Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for your feedback. In order to provide a high-quality but individual service to our patients, it is important that their religious needs are met where appropriate. As you say this is more appropriate for inpatients than outpatients. However as many of our patients use both the inpatient and outpatient services, this optional question is asked on first attendance at the hospital.

I would stress however that the question simply provides the opportunity for patients to tell us their religion so that their spiritual needs can be met if they wish. It is entirely optional and there is no requirement to answer.

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