"The nursing staff were kind and ..."

About: St Mary's Hospital (London)

What I liked

The nursing staff were kind and went to a lot of trouble to make me feel comfortable.

What could be improved

I waited for two hours to see the consultant. The consultant was cold and defensive, and I have to say, I found them quite rude. They fired questions at me as if I was in a witness box, repeating the question more forcefully and bluntly if I did not give them the answer they were looking for. They did not seem to be able to relate to my reasonable concerns and worries about the treatment and whether I should make the decision to opt for it. I was left with the impression that they were trying to evade giving me concrete answers as the chief concern was to avoid making any claims for the treatment that might have legal implications later, and that they were good at intellectual and verbal fencing around the matter. At the end of the interview, I asked them if things would go back to normal about three months after the operation, and they looked me in the eye and said very coldly, “I think we have already covered that.” At one stage, during a pause, I asked a quick question and the doctor put up their hand to silence me and said they were coming to that point. The doctor seemed to be irritated by the fact that I had interrupted the train of thought and planned agenda for our meeting. I felt talked down to and embarrassed and left with a very black impression about the interview. I cannot help but have unavoidable concerns about the treatment in the back of my mind. The interview has destroyed my confidence in this medical care completely and I have been left feeling dehumanised and of no consequence.

Anything else?

I was not told that there would be students at the meeting. At one point, the consultant asked me a question about why I wanted the treatment. I did not get to the point immediately, which must have been mentioned in my referral letter and I assumed they were aware of, and when I did give them the answer they were looking for, looked round significantly to my “audience”, raising eye brows sarcastically in mock amusement at my reticence and what they took to be my uncooperativeness. I was very embarrassed by this.

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Response from St Mary's Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to post your comments. We are disappointed to learn of your experience and the poor attitude of some of our staff. If you would like to discuss your concerns please contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on 020 3313 0088 or email pals@imperial.nhs.uk.

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