About: Freeman Hospital Freeman Hospital Newcastle Upon Tyne NE7 7DN
I took my 84yr old father in law to the ENT dept. Whilst waiting to be seen we saw a HCA (health care assistant) sitting at the ENT emergency reception for 15 mins talking to the receptionist about their personal life. We could hear ever word they were saying. A different HCA then took us in to see the consultant. The HCA staying in the room The consultant left for a few minutes to get some information for us. As soon as they left the HCA took their mobile phone out of their pocket and started texting. They made no attempt to talk to my father in law and totally ignorned us as if we werent there. As soon as the consultant came back they quickly hid their mobile in their pocket. There is definite need for training on communication skills, good manners and mobile phone etiquette. It's time HCA's had a governing body and a professional code of conduct to follow in the same way as nurses and doctors do. The bad manners we saw give other NHS workers a bad name. Let's see how things are when we return for a review appointment in 6 weeks. By the way, the consultant was lovely, explained everything and was very thorough and patient. Unfortunately the dept was let down by 2 HCA' s who were more focussed on their social lives. Very sad to see.