"My experience at the Highland Breast Centre"

About: Raigmore Hospital / North of Scotland Breast Screening Centre

(as the patient),

I recently received care from the Breast Centre at Raigmore hospital and I thought it might be helpful to share a few of my observations.

Firstly, the initial appointment I received was impossible for me to attend so I called the number on the letter to rearrange and left a message which nobody replied to.

Every time I called it just went to voicemail and a further message wasn't replied to either. Eventually I contacted the consultant's secretary via switchboard only to be told that my appointment had been changed and a letter had been sent to notify me. A quick phone call to notify me of the new appointment would have been better as it would have been polite and would have ensured that I had sufficient time to make arrangements to have the day off from work.

At the centre I found that some staff didn't introduce themselves to me and this is disappointing in light of the "my name is" campaign as it makes such a difference when staff introduce themselves. All of the doctors who I encountered introduced themselves. One nurse was very dour and I wasn't sure if she felt she had to be that way as she is often dealing with bad news but it certainly didn't help to put me at ease.

When I was waiting at the mammogram waiting area another patient's partner popped through to see how she was. He was immediately pounced on and advised to return to the main waiting area as he had entered a female only zone. I felt very uncomfortable for him. Surely staff should explain that gents have to wait at the main reception or women should be given the opportunity of waiting at the main reception to be called into the mammogram room as it's only a few meters further for the staff to go. I'm sure that at such an anxious time it is better for women to be able to sit and chat with someone rather than having to sit alone worrying. Just a suggestion.

When the consultant took my biopsy the consultant didn't wash their hands beforehand. I was quite surprised at this given how much emphasis there is on it nowadays.

Despite these few points I felt that I was in very good hands and the consultant was very thorough. I think that overall the centre provides an excellent service.

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Responses

Response from Linda Kirkland, Interim Director of Operations, Raigmore Hospital, NHS Highland

Dear Teucter

thank you for taking the time to feedback. I am sorry to hear of the issues you have encountered and I know the team will be very disappointed as we pride ourselves on the care we provide. Clearly though we did not get it all right for you and we will certainly use your experience as a learning opportunity. If you would like to discuss things in more detail, please feel free to e mail me direct on linda.kirkland@nhs.net. Best wishes

Linda Kirkland

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Response from Maimie Thompson, Head of Public Relations and Engagement, Chief Executive's Office, NHS Highland

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Dear Teuchter

Thank you for sharing your observations and clearly some basic things here letting us down and impacting on your experience. I am really sorry and want to apologise. We are working on improving how we contact patients to try and make sure where possible this is to suit their needs not what we have just traditionally done.

We will share your reflections and will obviously support colleagues in the department to see how we can make sure we get things like hello my name is right every time.

Can I ask what would you feel was a good outcome and make you feel and see that posting feed back was worthwhile,? Would a phone call with the hospital nurse director Iona McGauran, myself or Linda (see above) be helpful in you can contact me direct via email Maimie.thompson@nhs.net please let me know, apologies again but thanks for your measured observations

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Update posted by Teuchter (the patient)

Thanks for you replies ladies. It's good to know that you welcome constructive feedback.

I think that it is probably useful for all staff to try and put themselves in the patient's shoes at all times. The most frustrating part of my experience was probably actually the inability to speak to someone to change my appointment despite calling a number as advised. This is perhaps strange considering the worrying time I had having a biopsy done and then waiting for the result but I suppose that shows the impact even small things can have.

Again I want to reiterate that despite a few things not being ideal overall the service was top notch.

Response from Linda Kirkland, Interim Director of Operations, Raigmore Hospital, NHS Highland

Dear Teuchter

We completely understand and to reassure you...we have taken your feedback to the team and will address the issues

All the very best

Linda

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Response from Maimie Thompson, Head of Public Relations and Engagement, Chief Executive's Office, NHS Highland

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Thanks Teuchter

You remind us all again that the small things are in fact not small they are really important. Maimie

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