"freezing cold waiting in the corridor for an..."

About: Cumberland Infirmary

My wife has just had to suffer the discomfort and indignity which awaits those at the cumberland infirmary for day case operations. After being checked in and seen by the nurse, as expected, my wife had to strip off and put on the hospital gown. What came next was totally unexpected - she had to go outside and sit in the main hospital corridor for over 2 hours in the freezing cold as there is no proper waiting room. There was no privacy whatsoever and the experience was nothing short of total humiliation. I don't know who thought the seating was suitable either as it is far too low down for anyone but the athletic to sit down on or get up from. I understand from the staff that this waiting area is a new development - well whoever developed it must be living on a different planet. When it was my wifes turn to go for her operation, she was so cold from sitting in the drafty corridor that the doctors said she was nearly at the point where they wouldn't be able to operate. Its difficult to complain at the time as you are at the mercy of the staff, and as the wife will probably need another operation we are wary of complaining now in case it goes against us. All we know is that we will make sure we go to newcastle or other hospital in future.

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Response from Cumberland Infirmary

Thank you for taking the time and trouble to let us know about your concerns. We are sorry that your wife was not provided with the privacy and dignity that she should have received and we are looking into this with the senior matron for this service to ensure this does not happen again. Please do not feel that you are unable to raise concerns about your experiences with us at the time of treatment as we are happy to listen and this does not affect ongoing care. We have a Patient Advice and Liaison Service in the hospital which would be more than happy to listen to your concerns so that we can learn lessons from our patient's experiences. You can contact our PALs service by telephone on 01228 814008. There is an answer machine available 24/7 for when the PALS Officers are out of the office or dealing with other clients. Please do leave your name and telephone number and they will return your call as soon as possible. We hope this addresses the concerns that you have.

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