"Uncaring ENT/Audiology Dept"

About: Addenbrooke's Hospital

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I attended this dept because I was having trouble hearing in my left ear. The consultant I saw was dismissive, just wanting to get me out as quickly as possible. I felt she was uncaring and that she thought I was wasting her time. There was no explanation as to what the problem with my ear was and no empathy whatsoever. She said I needed an MRI scan but didn't explain what this test would be looking for. After waiting several weeks for an appointment with the Audiology dept, they did lots of other tests but didn't explain what they were for either. I was told the hearing in my ear was quite good - however they pressed me into having a hearing aid, even though they said it probably wouldn't help my condition as its not age-related deafness. The person who fitted the aid was curt, I felt like I was being rushed through the system. Aftercare for hearing aids is poor if you work full time like me, as everything is geared around older people who are retired and can go to the clinics during the week. On top of this, when they wrote to me the envelope clearly had 'Audiology Dept' visible in the window envelope, whilst for personal reasons I did not want my family to know I was going at that stage, so I beleive they breached my patient confidentiality. So no I would not recommend these departments to anyone.

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Response from Addenbrooke's Hospital

We were sorry to learn of your poor experience. I have shared your comments with the Clinical Director for ENT, the Head of Audiology and the Operations Manager for ENT. We do not have a female consultant in the ENT department so have been unable to identify the doctor you are talking about, if you could contact us via PALS at pals@addenbrookes.nhs.uk with your personal details we would be pleased to look into this aspect further. In terms of the Audiology Department your experience is not what we would wish for our patients. The Audiology clinic offers early morning, early evening and Saturday appointments to accommodate patients who find it difficult to attend during what we consider normal office hours. We are sorry such an appointment was not offered to you. Please mention this when you next book. We were especially concerned about the issue of confidentiality and I have asked our Information Governance Manager to review practice in the clinic. We think we may have identified the problem in that the website address line can occasionally be seen through the window of the envelope and this has been addressed with immediate effect. Thank you for bringing this to our attention. Again, both the ENT and Audiology Departments would like to know more about your issues and indeed be able to apologise personally. It really would be helpful if you could contact PALS with more detail. Once again please accept our apologies for your experience.

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