"Royal Free Breast Clinic"

About: Royal Free Hospital

(as the patient),

I attended the clinic after being referred by my GP. I had good expectations of this hospital. However, the appointment with the doctor did not meet these- in fact the experience was awful. Overall I found the doctor's manner was harsh, unsympathetic, short tempered and at times unprofessional. One aspect that stands out is that I was not given any say over how many people came into the examination area, or asked if it was ok for a medical student to come and observe the examination, so I ended up with too many people looking on while my examination took place, which was of a very sensitive nature anyway.

I became slightly tearful and the doctor became visibly annoyed. After the examination I was told to come back in several months time, and when I asked the doctor to explain why I would need to wait this length of time and what stage I would be at in getting treatment at the next appointment, they failed to explain and, in my opinion, became very short tempered and said that my appointment time was up.

I left feeling unsure of where I stood in terms of treatment, shocked and very let down and disappointed.

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Response from Julie Coombes, Communications Manager, Communications, Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust

We are very sorry to learn of your experience and that you felt let down and disappointed with your appointment.

We understand that breast consultations can be of a very sensitive nature and we are very sorry to learn that you felt the doctor’s manner to be harsh and unsympathetic.

It is usual practice for medical students to be introduced to patients and for patients to be given an opportunity to say if they would prefer the student to leave the consultation.

We would like to put you in touch with a member of the team who can look into your experience and concerns in more detail and discuss these with you. Please email us at rfh.communications@nhs.net

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