"Unprofessionl attitude of consultant"

About: Darlington Memorial Hospital

I attended an outpatient appointment today with my 76 year old mother. She is confined to a wheelchair and has various chronic medical conditions. This was a follow up appointment after an ultra-sound scan. On entering the clinic, the nursing staff were very friendly and helpful. We were asked to wait outside the Consultant's office for a moment. After a short wait, a nurse apologised explaining that the computer systems were running very slowly. I informed them that this was fine, as I work in a busy office and quite understand the difficulties encountered when this happens. After about a 15 minute wait we were asked to enter the Consultants Office, who made no introduction, just staring at their computer and chuntering, you could clearly sense they were very frustrated. To try and put the consultant at ease, I explained I worked in an office and it was hard work when computers "rang slowly" - to this they snapped at me and informed me that "with the utmost respect I didn't have 15 patients to see". This immediately made my mother and myself very uneasy. The consultant tapped a couple of screens, but was still unable to access sites they needed to see. At the end of the consultation, my mother was told to give a water sample to the nurse and go home and wait for the results. I was appauled at this so called professional. They just didn't seem to care about the well being of my mother or her dignity. My mother is a little deaf, again the consultant was frustrated as I had to relay questions to her. I dread to think what their attitude would have been if my mother had been unaccompanied. We both felt very intimidated by this off hand attitude. Do these people not realise that sometimes it is very difficult for disabled people like my mother even to get to hospital in the first place. My sister, and I care for my Mother, whilst both holding down full and part-time employment. I needed to be at my Mother's house at 5 am this morning, to ensure that Mum was ready for her ambulance transport, we need to be ready two hours before the appointment (as we live 16 miles away from the hospital) which means waiting from 0700hrs ready to go when the ambulance arrives for her appointment at 0950hrs. The consultation last exactly 10 minutes, then we needed to wait for a further 2 hours for a ambulance to become available to transport us home. We don't mind the wait at all, as without this service my Mother would find it almost impossible to attend out-patient appointments. I cannot emphasise enough how upset I am at this consultant's behaviour. We left their office, not knowing if my mother had to come back for a follow up appointment or she was discharged from the clinic, they just didn't seem to care at all. I would advise that this person take people skill courses. I left their office feeling totally humiliated and despondent.

Story from NHS Choices

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


Response from Darlington Memorial Hospital

Thank you for providing feedback on your mother's recent out-patient appointment at Darlington Memorial Hospital. I am very sorry to hear that you were unhappy with your and your mother's experience on this occasion and we will make sure your feedback is passed to the manager. We would welcome the opportunity to discuss your concerns with you. If you feel this would be useful please contact the Trust’s Patient Experience Team on 0800 7835774. If you would prefer to contact us by e-mail, our address is patient.experience@cddft.nhs.uk The experience was obviously upsetting for you and your mother and should you wish to make a formal complaint you can do so by using the email address above, or if you would like to raise an informal concern please do not hesitate to ring the freephone number and a member of the team can take some details so we are able to look into this for you. If you do decide to contact us, please make us aware that you have left comments on the NHS Choices website. The Trust is grateful for all feedback, positive or negative, as it means we can better understand what is important to our patients. Thank you for leaving your comments on NHS Choices. Patient Experience Team County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust Tel: 0800 7835774

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