"staff addressing patients by Christian names without permission"

About: Bmi - The Park Hospital

(as the patient),

At the pre-op clinic one is asked how one wishes to be addressed on the ward. This gives you the opportunity to say 'address me formally as Mrs Smith or as Jane'.

Is it reasonable for staff to use a first name when a patient has specified that they wish to be addressed formally on a ward?

Obviously staff have to correctly identify patients with full name, date of birth and address for x-rays, blood tests, operations, medicines rounds where correct ID of patients is vital. At other times it is not for staff to assume that they can use a christain name without seeking permission. In my opinion, for example, the 'older age group would appreciate a more formal approach and not the pseudo friendly 'Jane'.

Having stated my wishes a member of the nursing staff stated they would use my christain name. No permission was sought.

The problem I felt was that the nurses have the whip hand if you complain and some comeback may ensue which is detrimental to your care.

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Responses

Response from BMI Healthcare Ltd We have made a change

Dear Buzz,

We are sorry to hear that we didn’t meet your expectations. We do have a specific section in the patient pathway documentation which allows nurses to annotate which name the patient would prefer to be called and this is completed in most cases. Normal practice is for the nurses to use this name and it is annotated on all handover sheets as well.

The ward sister is grateful that you have informed us about this and she has been keenly listening on the ward to ensure that all staff are following the correct pathway and practice. She is also going to take it as an item for discussion at the next ward meeting.

As you have posted anonymously, we can’t report your complaint officially, but if you would like to contact me at the hospital directly, I would be very happy to investigate your complaint further.

Kind regards

Kenneth Hay

Executive Director

BMI The Park Hospital

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Update posted by Buzz (the patient)

I see it has taken 6 months for the Chief Exec to find my note and respond, quite a feat in itself!

If the Management has ever been in hospital himself he would be well aware whatever the hospital, this does not just apply to The Park, the nurses hold the whip hand. That is to say I feel as a patient is is not in your own interest to complain at the time since the nurses can easily make your life difficult if not worse for the rest of your stay. This does not have to be much, just not supporting a tender limb for example so that it drops and it hurts badly, which could easily be an accident, lack or care or deliberate. Hence it is best not to have a name but a password when we write these notes.

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