"Receptionist left me feeling humiliated and..."

What I liked

The consultant and nursing staff were professional and friendly and put me at my ease.

What could be improved

When I arrived the receptionist was having a long drawn-out conversation with a woman who was clearly anxious to take her young daughter to an appointment. She finally got to me 2-3 minutes later, having seen me waiting but choosing to carry on her conversation. I showed her my appointment letter and she began to check it on her computer. She plonked my letter back on the counter top and started waffling about "this being the NHS we want everything back so we can re-use it", at which she produced a laminated card with my consultant's name on it. I did wonder why she didn't just tell me but went to pick up the letter and card and go to the waiting room. She suddenly said "No!" very loudly and started tutting at me. "What did I just tell you?" she said as I stood open-mouthed with bewilderment. I said I had presumed I was to take it all with me as she had put it in front of me on the counter. She responded as if I were an idiot or a young child, certainly not a woman in her thirties. I had not visited the hospital before and was very apprehensive about my mediacal consultation and her manner left me feeling utterly humiliated and quite tearful. The medical care I received was excellent but why someone so unsuited to working with the public and putting them at their ease is working at reception I do not know.

Story from NHS Choices

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