"Respect and sensitivity required"

About: NHS East and North Hertfordshire Queen Elizabeth I I Hospital (Welwyn Garden City)

(as the patient),

To invest so much into a state of the art breast unit, why can simple measures not be take to respect patients confidentiality? The reception desk really couldn't get closer to the many mixture of waiting patients, relatives and other visitors. Today I was asked for my name, DOB and purpose of visit! I mean really, has all patient respect and sensitivity gone out of the window. In such an environment, one would think an atmosphere conducive to managing patients anxieties and concerns would be managed better.

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Response from Peter Gibson, Associate director, public affairs, East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust

You're absolutely right - whatever the environment, a patient's right to dignity and privacy must be respected at all times. We'll make sure that your feedback gets shared with the team as quickly as possible. The clinic will be moving across to the £30 million New QEII Hospital within a few months, with the clinic's new location helping to support better this very important matter. In the meantime, please accept our apologies for any upset caused.

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Response from Queen Elizabeth I I Hospital

Whilst the waiting area you refer to at the QEII covers both MRI and the breast clinic, these physical constraints should never be the reason why a patient cannot feel treated with respect and dignity. You're absolutely right to raise these concerns, which are in the process of being shared with our breast clinic colleagues at the QEII. During the next few weeks, the breast clinic - as will all the services in the current hospital buildings - will be moving the short distance to the £30 million New QEII Hospital on which the final finishing work is taking place now. There the breast clinic will have its own dedicated area - including a better designed reception area that will help afford our patients with a better environment in terms of privacy. It looks great - we just need to make sure that all of our staff work to similar high standards all of the time (which mostly they do, of course!). We hope that thi s response provides you with reassurance on what is a very important matter.

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