"Lack of privacy"

About: Lorn & Islands Hospital / General Medicine

(as the patient),

I attended Oban hospital as an out-patient for a scan. On arrival to the department I handed in the appointment card and was asked to confirm my date of birth and address. I felt uncomfortable about sharing my DOB as there were a number of people waiting in the waiting room who could hear everything being said. Two ladies came in whilst I was waiting and they were both 68 years old, as I overheard everything said as well. There is no privacy. Also whilst I waited the seats were extremely uncomfortable, even though I was only there 15 minutes.

When I went into the scan room I was asked to lift up my top and lower my trousers once I was on the bed. As the door to the corridor was ajar I asked for this to be closed. I was told it was NHS procedure to leave the door open for my safety, incase I needed to call out, as there was only one member of staff in the room. There was a portable screen in the corridor outside the room, but I still felt exposed. the radiographer began the scan and half way through a 2nd member of staff came into the room and it was only at this point was the door closed.

Do you have a similar story to tell? Tell your story & make a difference ››

Responses

Response from Pat Tyrrell, Deputy Director of Nursing and Midwifery, NHS Highland, Nursing and Midwifery, NHS Highland

Dear Activelil,

I appreciate you spending the time to share your experience of your recent appointment in Lorn and Islands Hospital.

I am really sorry that you have encountered a lack of privacy and feeling of exposure during your appointment, as well as uncomfortable seats in the waiting area.

I will follow this up with Donald Watt, our Clinical Services Manager to get a better understanding of what the issues are and how we can make improvements to protect the privacy, dignity and comfort of people in the department.

We will get post a more detailed response as soon as we have looked into this. Many thanks.

  • {{helpful}} of {{total()}} people think this response is helpful

Response from Pat Tyrrell, Deputy Director of Nursing and Midwifery, NHS Highland, Nursing and Midwifery, NHS Highland

Dear Activelil,

I am sorry that it is taking us a while but I wanted to let you know that we are still looking at how we can make changes to address the issues that you brought to our attention. In particular we are considering the approach at the desk to make sure that people are able to speak confidentially, how we might alter the seating and how we can ensure individual privacy for people in cubicles. We hope to be able to provide you with more feedback by the end of October.

  • activelil thinks this response is helpful
    {{helpful-1}} of {{totalOthers()}} other people think so too

Response from Pat Tyrrell, Deputy Director of Nursing and Midwifery, NHS Highland, Nursing and Midwifery, NHS Highland We are preparing to make a change

Dear Activelil,

I am pleased to be able to let you know of the changes that are now underway in the X Ray department at Lorn and Islands Hospital to make sure that the issues that you raised in relation to privacy and dignity are being addressed.

We are planning to fit sound proofing screens on either side of the reception window, and to replace the seating in the waiting area for patients. We will also provide background music in the waiting area to reduce the likelihood of confidential information being overheard.

We do need to carry out patient identity checks; this is something that the Radiation Protection Advisor to the government has agreed as the appropriate way to confidently identify patients, and is now the standard across the country. However we will make sure that this is explained to patients when they are being asked the question in future.

We have identified that individuals can feel that their privacy and dignity is compromised when the door to the room is left open. This only happens when we do not have a chaperone to assist the sonographer. However we will make sure that on these occasions it is discussed with each individual and that they are happy with how the portable screen is being used. In addition we are in discussion about how we provide chaperones within our departments.

Many thanks again for raising this concern; I hope that you are happy with the actions that we are taking and that this will encourage you to use Patient Opinion again. We really appreciate your feedback.

  • activelil thinks this response is helpful
    {{helpful-1}} of {{totalOthers()}} other people think so too

Update posted by activelil (the patient)

Thank you for taking time to look at my comments and for the actions that you are taking. I wonder if it would be possible to have a curtain or screen on the inside of the scanning room rather than using a portable one out side. I think I would have felt more comfortable with the door being open if this had been the case, and there was a rail for this but it wasn't being used. I was at the department again this week and had very good care from Mr Thorpe and Gill the nursing assistant. They were very kind and gave really good explanations, so thank you.