"Indifference in the Cardiac Imaging Dept."

About: Kettering General Hospital / Cardiology

(as the patient),

I had an appointment at The Cardiac Imaging Dept. of Kettering General. During the time I waited with my daughter for my name to be called we spent the time reading a newspaper cutting on the wall about the Dept. having received an award for excellence. We also watched a video on a loop (so we saw it several times) saying female patients will be given gowns for the Cardiac Imaging procedure.

The technician who greeted me told me when I entered the room to strip to the waist and get on the bed. There was no cubicle to hang my clothes and no indication of privacy whatsoever! I asked the technician if I was to be given something to wear? The reply was, “no, I need to get to your chest.” So I then asked for a towel instead, but was refused; even though there would have been no difficulty getting to my chest with a towel over me.

Eventually I was given a blue paper thing which looked like a giant toilet seat cover, I put it on and the test proceeded. After a minute or two I asked for the fan to be turned off as it was blowing on my back and making me cold, the technician said it was the air conditioning, and didn’t move. After a few more minutes, I said, ‘the fan is making me VERY cold’ it was then, fairly reluctantly, turned off.

When the procedure was over, I asked for something to clean off the KY jelly that had been spread all over me, I was told to clean it off with the gown, and if I needed more paper to take it from the bed, the technician then left the room. Both the gown and the paper on the bed are non-absorbent so I had a hard time cleaning off the stuff. A roll of kitchen paper, or Kleenex tissues for that purpose would be a kind and considerate thing to provide for patients.

Patients should ALWAYS have their modesty respected. It should be the first thing people in the medical field are taught, along with washing their hands BEFORE and after they touch someone.

TIP: For the people who are unlucky enough to have this test. I suggest you take with you a towel or a proper hospital gown (if you have one) also, a supply of Kleenex tissues, or a roll of kitchen paper to clean yourself up afterwards since none of these are provided by the hospital.

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Response from Kettering General Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

I am sorry to hear of your concerns during your cardiac investigation. I have shared and discussed these with the department manager.

The privacy and dignity of patients should always be considered. You should have been offered a gown to cover yourself when you entered the room. We are really sorry this did not happen. All of the staff in the department have been reminded of this.

I would welcome the opportunity to discuss your concerns with you. If you would like to speak to me, please contact me via telephone on 01536 491766.


Amie Burrows

Complaints Coordinator

Update posted by State Registered Nurse (the patient)

Thank you for your response. It is almost a month since I wrote a letter addressed to The Head of Cardiac Imaging about my bad experience, but as yet I have had no reply! I decided to post my letter online after a decent length of time, but that was not allowed by the rules of Patient Opinion so I wrote my story instead. The lack of concern (and good manners) when my letter was ignored, just added to my contention that the Department is indifferent and considered my complaint to be too trivial for examination.

It is gratifying to hear that at least the staff has been reminded of the code of conduct towards patients. I hope a screen of some sort will be provided as well, along with something more suitable to clean off the jelly when the procedure is over.