"Bariatric Care in Ayrshire and Arran"

About: Ayrshire Central Hospital / General Surgery

(as a staff member posting for a patient/service user),

The Bariatric team are fantastic and everything is great regarding the service and the care I have received from them. I would like to explain how I have felt when coming to the hospital.

Firstly, people who are excessively overweight have a story, some things have happened in their past and in my case it was abuse and it leads to an addiction in much the same way as other addictions. When people look at me, they do not see any of that and they do not know or understand how vulnerable I feel when doing a simple thing like attending the hospital.

Firstly, some chairs have arms and I feel embarrassed even to sit down, in case I can’t fit. Some chairs look too frail to take my weight and so I have to stand as I am scared to sit down. Even when there are larger seats, if I am not offered one, I feel I can’t draw attention to myself and my size by asking for one. It makes me anxious all the time when visiting anywhere. At one consultation I had to sit on a coffee table! How easy is it to open up and discuss sensitive issues with strangers when I am worried about a chair collapsing? Ayrshire Central and Strathdoon are the worst from this aspect.

The purpose of this post is to ask Ayrshire and Arran to look at all their consultation and waiting areas and take this on board. I realise that there is a cost involved, but some simple things can be done with no cost e. g. don’t just have chairs with arms available in a waiting or consultation room. If anyone would like to discuss this, I would be happy to.

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

Responses

Response from Eunice Goodwin, Patient Feedback Manager for NHS Ayrshire and Arran, Quality Improvement and Governance Team, NHS Ayrshire and Arran

picture of Eunice Goodwin

Dear Eunj9 or Shelpak as I know you want to be called.

Firstly, can I thank you for being so open and honest about something I am sure must have taken a great deal of courage to share so publically. I have had the privilege to speak to you on the phone and you are a true inspiration.

You have also shown that there is often less understanding of people who are ‘excessively overweight’ and that 'you have a story’, something a lot of people may not have considered.

I was at an event earlier today and a very insightful story was acted out as part of the event. While the topic was dementia it has wider relevance. The Auntie with early dementia said, 'but when I can’t remember, will people still see ME?’ I thought this was such a good reminder for us all and appropriate to every one of us irrespective of our situation.

I have a friend who says “I don’t do problems, I do solutions”. You have brought this to our attention and you have offered your help to see our waiting areas and consultation rooms through different eyes and that can only be good.

Thank you for sharing this with us. I will be very pleased to let the team know how you feel about the care you receive from them and I will speak to the team responsible for the seating etc. and if we take up your kind offer, we will be very fortunate to have you.

Best wishes,

Eunice

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Response from Eunice Goodwin, Patient Feedback Manager for NHS Ayrshire and Arran, Quality Improvement and Governance Team, NHS Ayrshire and Arran We are preparing to make a change

picture of Eunice Goodwin

Good morning,

The Bariatric team were delighted with your lovely post, thank you again. I have spoken to Mr Ali and he has asked the nurses to discuss this with you to get your help around seating issues. From what I gather from our conversations, you will be a great help to us, thank you. I believe you have an appointment with Pam soon and she plans to chat with you about it then.

I hope you are well,

Best wishes,

Eunice

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Response from Eunice Goodwin, Patient Feedback Manager for NHS Ayrshire and Arran, Quality Improvement and Governance Team, NHS Ayrshire and Arran We have made a change

picture of Eunice Goodwin

Hi,

As you know by now, there will be a meeting with you to take this forward but I just wanted to update you further. On a fabulous note, there is a pledge from a senior manager to buy 6 bariatric chairs for the clinics. One will be bought initially and when it is decided where they will be best utilised, a further 5 will be bought.

Great news and thanks to you and our wonderful Senior Manager Karen.

The power of the public strikes again.

Best wishes,

Eunice

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