"Subjected to homophobic behaviour by staff."

About: Gloucestershire Royal Hospital

I went to A&E on the advice of my colorectal nurse as I was still bleeding a week after a biopsy on a suspected cancer tumour in my rectum, I'm still waiting for the results.

The pain was intense, I had difficulty passing urine, a constant pressure in my backside and was passing blood and clots three times a day.

The triage nurse and the A&E nurse could not have been more helpful and respectful but when it came to the department doctor who saw me their first question was directed at my sexual preference.

They wanted to know how often I had anal sex (never).

They made me feel humiliated when they asked to check my stomach and pulled up my gown when they realised I had no underwear on, I was told by the triage nurses to remove all my clothing including pants and socks, they asked me to cover myself as no-one wanted to see that!

They dismissed my explanation of why I was there and wasn't interested in reading my discharge papers which clearly told them what I'd been in hospital for.

They then wanted to do a rectal examination and made the comment that I should be used to that!

After the roughest examination which caused me to scream out in pain and then nearly pass out they told me their opinion.

To them my rectal mass was merely a build up of scar tissue from anal sex and as I wasn't anemic I couldn't have been bleeding for the 9 weeks I had been so I was basically lying and wasting time.

I asked them to check my notes which they said they didn't have access to.

I was then told the on call surgeons were tied up in surgery on important cases so the best thing I could do was go home and take co-codamol for the pain.

They obviously didn't want me to taking up space and affecting their waiting time targets.

I explained I was told not to take codeine based pain killers as they can cause constipation but they told me all pain killers do that so it didn't matter.

My GP had already prescribed me Tramadol which is a semi-synthetic opioid and not codeine based.

By this time I'd really had enough and if it wasn't for the pain I'd have argued my point there and then but I was feeling upset and humiliated so I simply got dressed, left the co-codamol on the side, said thank you to the triage nurses and left.

I went to A&E because I was worried and I was following the advice of my colorectal nurse, I never went to waste time or to be subjected to homophobic dialogue and discrimination.

This has seriously damaged my opinion of the A&E department but i have faith that these people are in the minority.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Gloucestershire Royal Hospital

Hi there,

We're really concerned to hear about your experience. If you haven't already done so it would be a good idea to speak to our patient liaison (PALS) team so they can look into some of the issues you've raised. You can call them on 0800 019 3282 (Free phone) or email pals.gloucestershirehospitals@glos.nhs.uk

Many thanks for bringing this to our attention.

Kind regards

The team at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

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