"In my opinion these nurses should be their patients' advocate"

About: Borders General Hospital / Ophthalmology

(as the patient),

I was attending the ophthalmology clinic at Borders General Hospital. A relative of another patient told the Staff Nurses that her mum had been experiencing intermittent acute eye pain.

When her mother returned to the waiting area they encouraged her to tell the consultant when he came to check on her - she said she didn't want to bother him. The consultant returned a few minutes later, asked the lady if she had any questions - she said no and thanked him for his time.

The 2 nurses who knew about her pain were standing alongside listening to this interaction. The consultant left and the 2 nurses told the lady's daughter that as her mother had not mentioned it, they were not allowed to.

In my opinion these nurses should be their patients' advocate. This could be potentially very serious and dangerous. I was so desperate to step in but didn't.

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Responses

Response from Stephen Bermingham, NHS Borders

Dear Smiley Lady

Thank you, for taking the time to provide this feedback. I am sure you will appreciate that it is not possible to provide any comment on this specific case.

However, we agree that our staff have a responsibility to make sure that patients receive the appropriate advice and treatment for their condition. Patients and their families also have a responsibility to decide what is communicated, and when with our staff. Staff, patients and their families will often be aware of confidential information that will inform their decisions regarding communications and future treatment.

Stephen Bermingham, NHS Borders

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