"Impersonal care and a small delay"

About: Chapel Allerton Hospital

(as the patient),

I had an appointment for an ultrasound scan at Chapel Allerton Hospital in Leeds. This was a precautionary scan to check out that a couple of lumps on my arms were lipoma and nothing more serious.

I arrived 10 minutes early for my appointment and checked in. There was no mention of a delay at the time I arrived so I sat down and waited. I was called in to my appointment 15 minutes after the due time, with no apology or explanation. I understand that things don't always go to plan and emergencies can happen in hospitals. I'm fine with waiting an extra 15 minutes in these circumstances but some form of words to recognise and explain the minor inconvenience would be nice.

I went into the consulting room with the practitioner and was interested to see a "My name is..." board on the wall - with no name written on it. I have no recollection of the practitioner introducing themselves by name or even using my name at any point during the consultation, other than to confirm my identity at the beginning.

The scan itself was fine and done in what seemed to be a thorough and efficient way.

I work in patient experience in another area and find myself reflecting on the 3 domains of quality after this appointment:

1. Was it safe? I have no reason to think it wasn't.

2. Was it effective? The practitioner seemed to be thorough and did say at the end that they were just harmless lipoma - so I got the information I expected.

3. Was it a good patient experience? No. It felt impersonal - I felt that there was no empathy or contact at a human level.

Maybe the practitioner was having a tough day (though it was only lunchtime) - I don't know.

What I do know is that I expected to be treated as an individual.

I am also concerned that as part of a very large teaching hospital trust, I don't think you set the standards of interaction with patients that future practitioners should be modelling and aspiring to.

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Responses

Update posted by Leodian (the patient)

I'm very pleased to see that someone at Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust has taken the time to read my story.

However I am extremely disappointed that they have not bothered to take even 30 seconds to acknowledge my feedback or 5 minutes to reflect on how it can help them to improve their patient experience.

I know from experience in my work that hospitals who invest time and energy in being open, accountable and responsive to patients tend to provide better care. This includes the experience of working with one of the Keogh trusts and another Trust that has been inspected and found inadequate in the past 6 months...

Response from Leeds Teaching Hospitals

Dear Leodian,

Please accept my sincerest apologies for the delay in writing back to you.

The reason for this delay is due to an increase in demand for our services and the outreach work we are currently doing. I would like to re-assure you that a new member of staff is due to join our team very shortly to rectify this and prevent any further delays.

I was very sorry to read of the concerns that you have raised and would like to share these with the Practitioner involved so that they can reflect on this and learn from your experience.

Our “Hello my name is…” campaign is very important to us and we expect our staff to be fully participating in this. Please accept my apologies that this was not your experience.

Due to the lack of demographic information I would be unable to locate the Practitioner that you saw therefore, I would ask that you contact our PALS team who would be able to take the details from you and identify this person.

You can contact our PALS team on 0113 206 6261 or alternatively you can email them at patientexperience.leedsth@nhs.net

Thank you for taking the time to write to us.

Kind regards
Rosie
Senior Nurse
Patient Experience

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Update posted by Leodian (the patient)

Thanks Rosie. I understand the pressures you can be under which is why I waited a month for your response. I'm really happy to hear that you are recruiting to your team.

I'll get in touch with PALS later in the week to share the specific details.