"Hopefully I never have to return"

About: Royal Sussex County Hospital

Went into the cardiology unit for the first time, knowing what I was expecting of the test but still apprehensive as someone with mental health issues - which I did point out to them at least twice - and I was told "ok" the first time and "it won't affect the results" the second time. This made me feel like my feelings didn't matter and like I'm not a human being but just another test subject to them. While waiting I felt uncomfortable and worried, and when going into the room, I felt like I was being rushed - which is a problem for me as I have trouble walking sometimes - and because of that it added to the feeling of not feeling human. It felt like they wanted me out of the way. I know hospitals are understaffed and have a lot of patients to see to, but is it too much to ask for a bit of human decency?? Also when has an echocardiogram ever been painful? I can tell you when - today - but I felt too uncomfortable to point it out, which maybe I should have done. But I hopefully never have to go back to that ward after the way I was treated today.

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Response from Royal Sussex County Hospital

I am really sorry for your awful experience in the cardiology department, it falls far below standards we would expect, you should have been made to feel heard and respected.

Echocardiograms can unfortunately be quite a painful procedure, as the technician sometimes have to press very hard to get good views of the heart, nonetheless you should have been warned that this is the case.

I have spoken to the head of the Cardiac Department, who apologises for your treatment. She and I would very much like to meet with you, if you would like to, so that we can learn from what has happened to you and make sure this does not happen again.

Best wishes

Caroline Davies

Deputy Chief Nurse


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