"Very poor attitude towards my father"

About: Royal Bournemouth General Hospital

Very poor attitude of a member of staff towards my father, an elderly gentleman attending for a MRI scan. A smile costs nothing nor does courtesy, nor does allowing a daughter to sit with her father who: is anxious about the appointment; walks with a stick; has had a recent epidural for his back and has poor sight! People aged 80 are likely to forget things, especially when they are extremely worried! Staff should be aware of this! I was told I could not wait with my father; then he was told he should have phoned to discuss the questionaire and would consequently have to have an xray and wait to be sent another appointment in the post. My father had phoned the department - and had offered to post the questionaire to them but had been told to take the form with him to the appointment. My father and I were both very upset about the way he was treated. His reaction was to say to me, 'Is there another hospital where I can have this scan done?' I spoke to the clerk at the desk and told her that the way the member off staff had spoken to my father was unacceptable, and that he needed to have the scan done the same day. He had already waited a long time for it, he lived on his own and had had to make special arrangements to get to the appointment. The clerk on the desk told me that my father would have an xray but that it was his fault that he would have to return for the mri another day because he should have phoned. (please see above.) After the xray we should come back to arrange a return appointment for the mri scan. She also did not see why I should have been allowed to accompany my father into the smaller waiting room. I told her that we would be leaving appropriate feedback. We then went to the xray department. There was a marked contrast in staff attitudes here. The member of staff who did the xray was extremely friendly and kind. I told her also about how unhappy we were with the experience in the mri department and that we would be leaving appropriate feedback. After the xray we walked back along the corridor and were met by the same member of staff who had previously behaved in a totally unsatisfactory manner. Her manner had changed dramatically. She smiled at us both, said my father could come straight through for his mri and took us both through to the waiting room. This shows that there was no reason why I should not have been perimtted to sit with him initially. Her attitute was totally different. It is good that she changed her behaviour but it is very poor that I should have had to complain to get an appropriate standard of service for an elderly gentleman. Had we just dropped my father rather than accompanied him I feel certain that that he would have had to return another day. The staff who actually did the mri were friendly and kind. My father has nothing but praise for them.

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Response from Sue Mellor, Patient Experience Lead, Royal Bournemouth & Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Dear Anonymous

Thank you for posting your feedback regarding your experiences at the Trust when your father attended the X ray department. I am very sorry that we did not give you or your father the high quality standards of care that we aspire too and that you and your father were not satisfied with the attitude of some staff. Please know that as soon as I read your posting this morning I went and spoke with the manager in the department and we reviewed your comments together. She is going to share your comments with the staff on duty that day and has asked me to share this comment below.

‘we are working with all our staff to determine a set of core values to ensure every patient is treated on an individual basis in a caring, compassionate and dignified manner. Further to this we are developing the leadership of the department to further champion compassionate patient care. We welcome the opportunity patient feedback gives us to raise awareness with our staff and give impetus

to raising the quality of the care we provide to our patients.’

[Mellor, Susan] We recognise there was confusion and agree that a smile costs nothing and is even more valuable when patients and family are anxious. I will also raise this in our induction training that is held monthly. Thank you also for the comments regarding the staff who did show the caring compassionate and professional behaviour we expect from all. They too will be able to receive your kind feedback for them

Again I am sorry and hope that if you ever need to return to our Trust you have a much improved service and if you would like to discuss any aspect of care further please don’t hesitate contact our PALs department on 01202 704886 we would be happy to talk with you.

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