"Disappointing Attitude of a Dr in Casualty"

About: Gilbert Bain Hospital / Accident & emergency

(as a parent/guardian),

I have visited casualty many times with my elderly mother-in-law, and have never had reason to complain about the service. I have always received exemplary service. However, I had a very unsatisfactory experience last week.

I visited casualty with my teeange son, who had a very sore and infected throat, and hadn't eaten for three days. He wasn't even able to swallow water, his throat was so painful.

The nurses were very professional and couldn't have been more helpful or understanding. When the Doctor arrived I can only describe their behaviour as rude and patronising. they completely ignored me, which I find totally unacceptable. I realise my son is now classed as an adult but his throat was so sore he could hardly speak. They proceeded to ask my son everything the nurse had just asked him - which was painful for my son, as his throat was so painful and he was actually feeling faint with hunger. The Doctor didn't appear to listen to anything I said and displayed absolutely no sympathy/empathy towards my son or myself. I explained that my son had a very high pain threshold and had rarely ever been to the Doctor about anything. My son also felt that the Doctor's attitude was not right, and that they were talking down to him all the time.

I had to insist on liquid antibiotics. (Having been told there was no reason why my son couldn't swallow large tablets. )

My husband went into the consulting room with my son after I came out, and while he was there the Doctor said to my son that he would just have to 'man up' and swallow.

When I arrived home the Doctor phoned the house to tell me the result of the blood test. They didn't even call me by name or ask who they were speaking to, just said they were phoning about my son.

I can't imagine that this level of service or communication skills are acceptable within the NHS.

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Response from NHS Shetland

We were sorry to hear of the attitude of the doctor involved. This has been discussed with them and they have asked for me to pass on their apology for any distress caused. We have reiterated the need for good communication skills. We have also discussed your feedback with the consultants responsible for training and supervising the junior doctors.

Dr Roger Diggle

Medical Director

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