"Manner of consultant during A&E visit"

About: Ninewells Hospital / Accident & Emergency

(as the patient),

I went to the A&E dept at Ninewells Hospital, Dundee recently, with a severe pain in the upper arm (I had fainted at home in the morning after getting up and going to the toilet). I was triaged, seen by a doctor who was quite thorough in his questioning, and then X-rayed. The X-ray showed no fractures but the doctor was concerned enough to make me wait until his superior saw me.

I had to wait some time, which is to be expected in A&E, but when the doctor came, his manner was very bombastic, patronising and dismissive of everything I was trying to explain. He had his own ideas about what it was (firstly thinking I had a problem with my shoulder, because he clearly hadn't listened to the doctor either) and told me to take painkillers (like I hadn't thought of that!).

When I suggested it might be a problem with my heart (because I'm in my 60s & it runs in the family) he said it wasn't that because it wasn't the left arm (even although I understand women often present with atypical symptoms). He spent less than five minutes with me and made me feel as if I was wasting his time, like I just love to hang around A&E just before Christmas when I have a thousand other more pressing things to do!

By the way, at the time of writing I still have severe pain in my arm. Maybe his diagnosis is right but he didn't have to make me feel like a complete fraud and a time-waster.

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Response from Alison Moss, Feedback Manager, NHS Tayside

Dear “Sore Arm Lady”

Thank you for sharing your experience via Patient Opinion. I am sorry to hear that you were not satisfied with your experience when you recently attended the A&E Department at Ninewells Hospital.

Staff in A&E within NHS Tayside want to deliver high quality care. We recognise that patients in our department have not planned to visit us and are anxious about what may be wrong with them. We therefore aim to provide a caring, understanding and friendly service.

I am sorry that you feel this was not achieved in your case and I would welcome the opportunity to look into the circumstances in more detail. I would therefore be grateful if you could contact Alison Moss, Complaints and Feedback Team Lead either by telephone on 0800 027 5507 (freephone) or via email to feedback.tayside@nhs.net.

Kind regards.

Dr Shobhan Thakore

Clinical Lead, Emergency Medicine

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