"urinary weakness investigation at St Helens Hospital"

About: St Helens Hospital / Urology

(as the patient),

I am a 64 year old woman who was referred to a specialist at St Helens Hospital for an investigation into bladder weakness or vaginal prolapse.

I was told to undress and put on a gown which remained open to the rear, then fitted with a catheter. After measuring my urinary stream the specialist told me to stand with my legs apart and jump in the air which I did. They told me to jump higher which I did, repeatedly saying forcefully 'jump higher'.

When I felt a trickle down my leg and pointed that out the specialist loudly said 'there's nothing' and instructed the nurse to get a tissue, telling me to wipe myself to prove the point.

Throughout they were loud, insistent and lacking in all sensitivity or patient manner. I felt humiliated and treated as less than human. When the specialist left the room a trainee medic who had been sitting in on the consultation asked me how the experience had been for me and I told her that it had been worse than having children, she said she thought that had been the case.

I felt assaulted, was distressed as soon as I had left the hospital and had nightmares for several weeks after, such that although I was encouraged by a nurse friend to make a formal complaint, I felt too traumatised to do so.

I would not allow myself to be referred to the particular specialist again.

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