"I was seen on time!"

About: North Tyneside General Hospital

What I liked

I was seen on time!

What could be improved

I attended for an initial physiotherapy appointment and was surprised at the lack of privacy.

1. I was taken by the physiotherapist into a consulting room where there was another physio.

2. My physio started to ask me questions about my condition and health without acknowledging to me that there was another clinician, who was unconnected to my case, in the room and whether I was okay with this.

3. The other physio then left the room and shortly returned with a lady patient, who had been in the same waiting area as me, and started a consultation with the lady.

4. At this point, I asked my physio if we could go somewhere private.

5. We left the room and she suggested a large room where there were several staff and said we could go in a cubicle behind a curtain - I didn't consider this proper.

6. They then led me to a nearby consulting room which was free and we continued the consultation in there - it would have been appreciated if the option to use this room had been checked in advance.

7. I explained to my physio that I didn't think the lady would want me to hear her personal details and that she may not be comfortable with a man in the room listening to her consultation. By the same token, I didn't want a complete stranger sitting within six feet of me listening to my personal details being disclosed.

Think about the patient!!!

Anything else?

In essence, my privacy was not considered at the outset, bearing in mind that this was an initial consultation.

This isn't a matter of the NHS being short of money but more a lack of good clinical practice, not to mention a lack of good old-fashioned commonsense.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from North Tyneside General Hospital

The Trust was very sorry to hear of your experiences in the Physiotherapy Department at North Tyneside General Hospital.

I have spoken to one of the Team Leaders in Physiotherapy who has informed me that plans have been looked at to address the confidentiality issues you have raised. Consideration has been taken to undertake some major structural changes to the department to allow the creation of solid wall partitions to respect each patients privacy and dignity. However, at the current time space is at a premium and this project will be submitted as part of the whole of North Tyneside Redevelopment Group.

Following your comments notices have been placed in the department advising patients to ask if they require a confidential environment for their consultation

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