"Poor communication - patient could not understand the consultant when signing operation consent form"

About: Leicester Royal Infirmary / Accident and emergency Leicester Royal Infirmary / Maxillo-Facial surgery

(as a parent/guardian),

My son was admitted to the Leicester Royal Infirmary, Minors with very high temperature, and allergic reaction to pencilin that had been prescribed to him in error for a tooth abcess. He was seen by a Mxio-Facial consultant who was very polite however his English language was such that we could not understand the risks he was trying to explain to my son who had a very high fever, was tired and extremely unwell when he had to sign a consent form for surgery.

I feel that it is very worrying to ask somebody to agree and sign that they will undergo a surgical procedure which carries risk of permanent damage when we had very poor understanding of what those risks were. My son was very well cared for in the LRI but this issue recurred on Ward 7 where he was admitted when some staff asking about meals could not seem to communicate. Are UHL not checking whether staff can make themselves understood?

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Responses

Response from University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust

Dear Cardoni,

Thank you very much for your feedback about your recent experience with us.

Leicester is a multicultural city so we do have staff from a wide range of backgrounds.

However, we would like to reassure you that all staff employed by Leicester's Hospitals are tested on their written and verbal English skills, which includes both those recruited from the UK and overseas. We do not employ anyone who does not meet the standards we set.

We strongly recommend if patients cannot understand a member of staff due to a strong accent or for any other reason, they inform another member of staff to ask for assistance. We appreciate being in hospital is a stressful time and we will do anything we can to reduce worry or concerns.

Kind regards

Laura Mort

Communications Team

Response from Leicester Royal Infirmary

Dear Cardoni, Thank you very much for your feedback about your experience with us. Leicester is a multicultural city so we do have staff from a wide range of backgrounds. However, we would like to reassure you that all staff employed by Leicester's Hospitals are tested on their written and verbal English skills, which includes both those recruited from the UK and overseas. We do not employ anyone who does not meet the standards we set. We strongly recommend if patients cannot understand a member of staff due to a strong accent or for any other reason, they inform another member of staff to ask for assistance. We appreciate being in hospital is a stressful time and we will do anything we can to reduce worry or concerns. Kind regards Communications Team Leicester's Hospitals

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