"Neurology -potential genetic testing, hosp..."

About: The Great Western Hospital

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It was indicated that a relative might have a genetic condition. The family were told to go away and 'think about whether they wanted genetic testing'. This is not the way to address such complex matters. Many people won't even know what genetic testing is, let alone know about ethical considerations, without the opportunity to talk this through with someone with a deep knowledge of such issues. At the very least some written information should be provided on this. Please could doctors also introduce themselves. We wrongly directed to the inpatient pharmacy rather than the outpatient pharmacy. There was a very long wait at the latter. On arriving at the hospital I had an awful time trying to find a parking space. Good job I had another relative with me so I could drop the disabled person off and then go and try and park. There were no disabled spots available. I went round the whole complex umpteen times trying to find a space and nearly missed the consultation. It should not be necessary to need two relatives to accompany someone to hospital. At least two of the hand sanitiser dispensers were empty in the area we visited. Also what a shame the WRVS shop has gone and been replace with Costa. Just evidence of privatisation everywhere with no improvement to services. Thank you

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Response from The Great Western Hospital

Thank you for letting us know about your experience at the Great Western Hospital. I’m sorry that it wasn’t as positive as it could have been. Improving patient information is important to us, and we’ll shortly be launching a new project to develop this important area. I’m also sorry that the doctor didn’t introduce himself properly. The lead clinician will raise the need to do this with colleagues and remind them of its importance. The Boots pharmacy for outpatients is very new at the hospital and although we have included lots of information in staff bulletins, we obviously need to do more to make sure that staff direct patients to the right pharmacy. Parking is an issue we’re working had to try and improve. In the next few weeks, an enlarged staff car park will open and we hope this will reduce the pressure on the main car parks. If disabled badge holders are unable to park in the disabled spaces, then they can visit the Atrium reception desk to arrange for free parking in the main car parks. With regard to support and information on testing, although it's clear we could have done better, we employ a special genetics nurse, who would be available to help with any decisions on testing. This nurse can be accessed through the doctor your relative saw. I am sorry that we didn’t meet your expectations on this occasion. If you would like to talk to us about any ongoing concerns you have with testing, then please contact Customer Services at pals.team@gwh.nhs.uk and the team will put you in touch with the specialist nurse.

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