"Courtesy costs nothing but means everything"

About: Hertford County Hospital

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I attended the hospital this week for both an x-ray and a blood test. After checking in at the Radiology Department, my details were confirmed with me and a delightful lady undertook the x-ray with great care, kindness and attention to detail. I then went over to Pathology for my blood test. What a different experience that was. When my name was called by the gentleman who was to see me, he called out only my surname (not an uncommon name either, bearing in mind there were a number of other people waiting who could have shared the same one). Before I reached the door he had turned his back on me and I followed him into the cubicle area. He then pointed to the chair on which I was to sit, without any greeting, introduction or explanation of what was to happen. I was already feeling uncomfortable with the lack of communication when without a word he extended my arm and made a brusque comment about my veins being small - which hardly filled me with reassurance about the impending procedure! During this time, the silence was highlighted by the cheerful exchange of pleasantries from the lady taking blood in the adjacent cubicle.Only after taking the blood did he ask for my date of birth. When he had finished writing on the vials, as no further words were forthcoming from him, I asked if it was ok for me to go. His reply was a simple 'Yes'. To complete my discomfort, my arm bruised terribly within a short time afterwards, though it has never done so before after previous tests. Come on Hertford County Hospital..... please teach your staff that basic identification procedures are essential - and even more importantly that a little bit of common courtesy goes a very long way!

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Response from Hertford County Hospital

Whilst heartened at how well cared for you felt by the radiology team at Hertford County, it would appear that this phlebotomist let the side down. Would you mind getting in touch with us via generalenquiries.enh-tr@nhs.net so that our pathology team colleagues can talk with you as this person's behaviour needs to be addressed - your experience is not the standard of care we expect. We hope that you give us this chance to follow it up for you.

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