"The appointment was hurried and the intrusion made me uncomfortable"

About: Royal Bolton Hospital / Maternity care

(as the patient),

My 20 week anomaly scan at Royal Bolton Hospital toward the end of May

On arrival we were informed there may be a wait as there was equipment problems. The wait was actually only 25 minutes.

We were told that my partner and sleeping baby had to wait outside. They were brought in for a minute at the end. I was very surprised to hear the door opening and shutting when I was examed and then a member of staff barged in saying " is *patient name* in? " to which the sonographer replied "no its * my name? * then she said to the sonographer, " Take your break as soon as! " before leaving.

The appointment was hurried and the intrusion made me uncomfortable.

Following which I had an obstetrician appointment, the staff on reception were gathered around the computer and ignored me until they had finished chatting. My maternity notes were handed to a student nurse who began reading my confidential notes in front of me before taking them to the doctor. The student nurse wasn't involved in my care and had no need to read my personal details. She was with a qualified midwife who failed to notice or to pull her up on this matter.

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Response from Royal Bolton Hospital

It is departmental policy for the ultrasound examination to be undertaken with the patient and one other adult visitor allowed in the examination room. This is well documented on hospital and national literature which the patient receives prior to the appointment. The purpose of this policy is to ensure that the ultrasonographer can concentrate on the examination. It is our practice to invite additional visitors and/or children into the examination room at the end of the scan for a brief look at the baby. As responsible employers we are also committed to our staff's health and wellbeing and regular breaks promote good concentration which is necessary for accurate ultrasound imaging. The ultrasound department is a busy place and, although we try to ensure patients' privacy and dignity wherever possible, it is occasionally necessary to interrupt an examination. We would only do this in the interest of patient care and then only in emergency situations. We apologise if you felt that there was an intrusion in your examination but this was likely to have been unavoidable. The member of staff that looked at your notes does so to ensure that you are seen by the correct doctor regarding your appointment. The notes are taken to the doctor so that they know who is the next lady to be seen. She as with all other healthcare staff is bound by confidentiality and we would like to reassure you that she was not reading your notes just to gain information that was not appropriate for your appointment.

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