"Disappointing."

About: Royal Free Hospital

What I liked

Not a lot.

What could be improved

For nearly 3 hours we sat watching a computer screen telling us how wonderful the Royal free A&E is - how it is in the top 20% for everything.

How sad the reality is. The staff, almost without exception, treated us inconvenient objects to be dealt with at their discretion. As usual the doctors were dressed as first year students who had slept in the street and had professional attitudes to match. The patient was assumed to be thick and not in need of any information or explanations. While treating my daughter the doctor kept wandering off without a word of explanation, wandering back again and continuing without a single word. The staff nurse was rude to accompanying relatives, and twice spoke sharply to to people who had the temerity to stand up to ease their aching legs, telling them that they may have to be asked to wait outside. At the end of the treatment, it was difficult to find out what we were supposed to do next - the doctor had disappeared completely and the staff nurse seemed to think that we must be stupid if we had to ask.

In the end it comes down to individuals and proper training. There were a couple of staff who were seen to be treating patients with respect and consideration. But ALL the staff should be trained how to deal with distressed patients and relatives. And why cannot staff be professional any more? They give the impression of a bunch of amateurs, muddling through, not welcoming questions in case it shows up their ignorance, and just wanting to get through their shift so that they can go home.

Story from NHS Choices

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