"There is nothing I could have possibly liked..."

About: North Devon District Hospital

What I liked

There is nothing I could have possibly liked about my awful experience when I underwent a Flexible Sigmoidoscopy procedure ( camera on the end of a tube inserted into back passage / bowel ) at the Gemini Endoscopy Suite.........

Contrary to the instructions in the pamphlet issued by the hospital for this procedure, I was refused any form of sedation. During the procedure when I tried to alleviate the excruciating pain by taking deep breaths, the consultant and the medical practitioner both started saying "deep breath push" referring to childbirth, and then the consultant said "there is nothing coming out of your vagina" This was followed by loud laughter. I had to endure more disgusting and very degrading verbal abuse before the op had finished. Nobody throughout the procedure paid any attention to the obvious excruciating pain and stress I was experiencing.

I made a formal complaint, and an investigation was carried out, and a disciplinary procedure has taken place. I had requested an apology, and a meeting was arranged at the hospital. This was disappointing because they would only admit to the lesser abusive comments they had made earlier in the procedure, and denied the rest of what they had said. It is because of this denial that I feel I must submit this review. I am of the opinion that there must be a risk that this could happen again, and because it is such an undignified procedure, most people would feel too embarrassed or traumatised to make a formal complaint.

What could be improved

This is a very undignified sort of medical procedure and for some people, it can (depending on circumstances) be very painful. Therefore the patient is putting all their trust in the consultant and medical team, and would expect to be treated with respect and understanding when in such a vulnerable situation. You would never expect that a medical team would derive so much amusement making a patient( in severe pain ) be their object of ridicule.

Anything else?

I must state that on every other occasion I have gone to this hospital, as a visitor or as an out- patient, I have been treated with the utmost respect and kindness. It beggars belief that amongst these good caring professional people, there are individuals who have no empathy or common decency and are in my opinion a disgrace to their hospital and profession.

Story from NHS Choices

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