Long wait in clinic with no explanation or apology

I attended the outpatients surgical clinic to see Mr Salim.

On arrival I was checked in and asked to take a seat. After a while I noticed that the wait was 40 minutes. I asked the reception staff about the wait (I was surprised that this hadn’t been pointed out to me on arrival). I was told that this was always the case with this clinic and in fact it was going to get worse as he was ‘slotting in’ two extra patients before each clinic which made him even later.

I eventually waited an hour and a half to see him. When i asked the nurse what the delay was, she was rude and aggressive and said “it was always this way and just to sit and wait”.

At no point did anyone offer an explanation or apologise for the inconvenience caused. Whilst the care I have received from Mr Salim has been excellent, my experience of Hull Royal Infirmary has been dreadful, in particular the unprofessional and uncaring attitude of some nurses.


Labour experience at St Thomas hospital

I was treated very well with the exception of a couple of people who I saw. When I went for my 12 week scan, I saw a sonographer – I can’t remember what she said to me but I didn’t like the way she was towards me or her attitude. When I went for my 20 week scan, I remembered I had a bad experience during my 12 week scan so I came prepared and took note of my sonographers name. She was so rude – because of her, I started missing all my hospital and GP appointments as I felt very uncomfortable. When I went in, she didn’t even say hello or give me any eye contact – she just told me to get on the bed. She didn’t let me see the scan of my baby until towards the end. When I told her I couldn’t see, she just ignored me. She didn’t even explain what she was doing or measuring or anything. My partner asked her if we could know the sex of the baby and she just looked at him and ignored him.

She then told me to walk around because the baby was in an awkward position. I told my partner to help me up as I was feeling faint and she started shouting at me. She said, “Can the two of you stop talking and do as I say? It’s after 4pm and I don’t know about the two of you, but I want to go home. So can you hurry up?” I was shocked and upset and sick. I wanted to walk out but my partner convinced me to stay.

Before we left, she asked us if we wanted any pictures and I said “yes please”. I don’t think she heard me say ‘please’ because she said “Yes what?!” My partner repeated what I said. I felt as though I was having to beg for a photo with the way she was talking to me.

When we were going to pay for the photo, she demanded the money form us and because my partner had gel on hid right hand, he gave her the money from his left. She gave him a dirty look and said “I don’t want the money from your left hand, I want it form your right” I thought her behaviour and attitude was very rude, unprofessional and uncalled for. A lady like that should not interact with sensitive patients like myself in that manner. If I had the time, energy and confidence then, I would have immediately made a complaint.

Also, while I was asleep, my contractions started at 4am. By 9am, they were every 5 minutes so I made my way down to the hospital. When I got there, as there were a few people in front of me, I did not get seen until 4pm. By then I was in so much pain but I tried to keep myself under control as I was previously suffering from panic attacks.

When I did see someone I was upset because she said, “There are a lot of people waiting to be seen and, no offence, you don’t look like you’re in pain so I’m going to send you home.” I was so disappointed it brought tears to my eyes and the pain felt worse. I had travelled two hours on a bus just to get sent back without even being examined. Not only that, I was on my own and I had never been to an antenatal class as the hospital did not contact me for any classes.

She was about to discharge me when a doctor came and told her to examine me before I left. I felt dizzy and started to throw up. When she examined me, a doctor came back and told me that I was a few centimetres dilated and I would not be going home.

After that, the treatment I got was fantastic. I fell asleep and was comfortable.

In the evening I was transferred to a night nurse. Although she was quite nice to me, she was very rough and heavy handed – I felt more pain every time she touched me than I did when I felt a contraction. When I told my partner, he said that he could see that.

I also did not like the way she was getting angry and frustrated with me during the delivery. I did not know what I was doing and she kept telling me to do what I practised in the antenatal classes. I told her many times that I have never been to an antenatal class and I could she that she was getting annoyed.

In the end, when she gave me the baby, I saw he had a big dent in his head. My partner told me the midwife did not wait for me to push the baby out (she dragged him out) and that the dent was from her finger print. That also showed me that she was heavy handed and I wasn’t just imagining things.

After that, the care and treatment I got was so amazing I don’t think it could have got any better. I would also like to mention the care I received from the trainee midwife, as this was so fantastic.


Arrogant and Unprofessional Doctor

Although this is not really an up to date story, I feel that it is very relevant, especially if patients had the same treatment that I did. And I really need to know if it is worth taking this further.

I went to Preston Hospital to see this doctor in relation to minor reconstructive surgery on a hand which I burnt as a child. On the suggestion of my local GP who said I should have had surgery much earlier as it was restricting movement through the tightening of skin/tendons as I was getting older, I was around 22 years of age at that time.

As soon as I started talking to the doctor in question, I felt that he was trying to dissuade me from having the surgery, without actually giving any reasons why I should not have it. He was trying to compare me, a young man, with the elderly, stating that elderly people usually have restricted movement in their hands. When I stated that I am not elderly, I felt he seemed to get very agitated.

He then proceeded to ask what activities I was unable to do with my affected hand, to which I replied that I could not pick up many common things like a glass, bottles etc, to which he replied “Why don’t you use the other hand?” Being young, and admittedly a little shy and naive (which I believe this doctor knew,) I didn’t know how to reply to his seemingly aggressive attitude.

I told him that I would like to have the surgery, and be put on the waiting list. I felt he didn’t seem to acknowledge what I had said and then swiftly walked out of the cubicle. Half an hour later I was still waiting for his return, so I asked the nurse when he would be back. I was a little taken aback when she told me that he did not have any more appointments that day and had left. If that had happened today I would have complained immediately, though because of my shyness and naivety at that time I did not.

But that is not the end of the story, the doctor in question did not put me on any waiting list, it has been around 7 years and I have not heard a single thing about either my appointment, nor surgery. I can only presume that this doctor decided that I shouldn’t have the surgery, which I can only presume was to cost-cut. Every time I think about this now it irritates me, as I feel that this doctor should be punished for his unprofessional behaviour.


Chronology of Orthopaedic/Plastic surgery care following serious accident

Whilst this incident dates back a couple of years, my motives – far from vengeful, as these doctors have been outstanding in their skill – stem from a desire to share what may be a “hidden rot”, and so prompt changes for the care of future patients like me.

I am a professional man of Afro-Caribbean origin in my mid-30s, who sadly concludes race and racial preconceptions contributed to the manner in which medical staff decided to approach my care, in what was my first true experience as a patient. Disturbing, clearly endemic, and seemingly a “wilful oversight” at this hospital, my overall impression was that far too many seriously unacceptable incidents occurred during a patients stay here, with most either too: old, vulnerable, dependent, or just plain “proud” to raise complaint.


July 2006 Female Nurse (Ward)

My “baptism-of-fire” was with an at first unfriendly, and openly suspicious night-nurse – who eventually just came right out and asked whether I had been fighting?

July 2006 Female Nurse (Ward)

Incredibly hostile, she came on shift visibly seething. Due to my vulnerability, and pain-based high overnight dependency, worried I asked her shift colleague if she could attend to me instead. I later witnessed her explode at a patient who was just trying to calmly explain his pre-admission medication, an observed 5 minute tirade.

July/August 2006 Nurses (Ward)

A completely bodged ward closure-and-transfer whilst in-surgery, saw all my belongings including a portable TV and fan, misplaced. On my return to the SHD (Surgical High Dependency) unit it was only the visitation of relatives and the invention on our behalf, of a ward manager, that my belongings were recovered. An apparent firm chat with less-than cooperative ward staff found these items relegated to a side room, with fan in use elsewhere. Amazingly in front of both, relatives and I, a disagreement also ensued between this manager and a pony-tailed nurse who, quite arrogant her in manner, seemed to imply it was I that was at fault.

August 2006 Female Nurse (SHD unit)

Following transfer to this unit, I was left in severe pain with sleepless nights. I was one of two patients attended to by this nurse, another two by another nurse on the ward’s far side. From the start, my nurses attitude toward me was one of reluctance and apathy, this in strong contrast to her other charge. She made me feel reluctant to ask for the simplest of assistance by her uncaring attitude, and toward the end of my stay, literally just began wondering off the ward actually when I had requested help, for 10-15 minutes at a time. I rarely requested her help, but unable to stand anymore began requesting the help of the other nurse who, though very busy, was exceptional in her care of me. I would seriously go as far as to actually question the appointed nurses suitability for this post.

August 2006 Female Agency Nurse (Ward)

From the moment she came on duty she seemed to take great exception to me by her attitude, this though we had never met. Any request for assistance was met by an unashamed reluctance to help me in a short, rude and abrupt manner of communication, vague treatment, or as on most occasions by just completely ignoring me. I actually began to think she hated me, as she openly showed the polar opposite manner to all other patients. There was only the exception of an African lady patient, who was to later report to me experience of the same behaviour. She duly cited colour prejudice as a suspicion, she and I incidentally being the only non-white patients on this full ward. From my experience, I can only say it seemed a plausible possibility.

August 2006 Female Nurse (Ward)

Shortly after a very emotional visit by my mother and co, this nurse had the nerve to – whilst helping me onto a Zimmer-frame with another colleague – patronisingly repeat the words: “So you a mummy’s boy init!” in this unprofessional “street-style” manner, that she perhaps thought I might be receptive too. I looked in disbelief at the colleague who just remained quiet, before enlightening her that I was unashamed of displaying affection for my mother – livid this should even need explaining to a nurse.

August 2006 Female Physiotherapist

In stark contrast to her colleagues, I found this young lady’s behaviour toward me quite arrogant and rude. She seemed unable to grasp I could not do more than my pain permitted, one occasion persisting discourteously in a petty disagreement in front of all my relatives. She even sent me down to the Ophthalmic Clinic with out assistance to help me into/out-of my wheelchair, later blaming what became an awkward incident on me.

August 2006 Female Nurse (Ward) / October 2006 Female Nurse (Clinic)

Contrary to guidance offered in their ‘Information for in-patients’ booklet, I was astonished on the two occasions when I politely brought the issue of hand-hygiene to nurses. Once, having witnessed substantially handled bay-curtains prior to my treatment, the other witnessing my wound-dressing repeatedly interrupted to answer door-knocks – opening and closing an office door. In response, I was angrily snapped back at, throughout which all I could do was to attempt to reason and explain my concerns to calm the situation down. I would strongly suggest that all admissions, including emergencies and transferrals, are issued this booklet on arrival, as I was not.

January 2007 Female Nurse (Ward)

A later follow-on overnight-admission landed me in care of a night-nurse who presented incredibly rudely on the only two occasions of contact.

The first, having settled down sleep following a ‘lights-out’ call by nurses, I was awoken by this nurse at about 11pm, walking over to my bed announcing loudly and rudely “OK boy!” before brusquely attaching ‘ID wrist-bands’. I felt embarrassed, then insulted, as I noticed her soon after approaching two other patients, more calmly, and with the words “All right my dear”. Too tired, I just tried to get back to sleep, but was again awoken at 3am in exactly the same “OK boy!” manner, this time with the overhead lamp direct switched-on right into my face and accompanying the words “Canula, Canula”. I looked round dazed and in disbelief at this woman’s behaviour, so abrupt it had awoken the patient next to me, though before I knew it she had grabbed my left hand and proceeded to apply an excruciating painful and long needle in preparation for a drip. I was astounded by what I was experiencing, something akin to a prison camp, though as if not insult enough, when the awoken patient enquired as to why I required this and not him, she had the absolute nerve – mid-application – to turn round and tell him it was because he was in better health than me, before chuckling to herself. On the contrary, the drip-necessity was purely due to an earlier potentially fatal ‘pulmonary embolism’, prior to which I was in exceptional health. But for my vulnerability, I can assure I would not usually tolerate such indignity.


As a long-distance hospital-transport-dependant patient, I was for a short period dependant on this hospital’s own patient transport service.

October 2006

Right outside my mother’s home and in front of my mother, regarding a chat about my deciding whether to take with me warmer clothing, the driver commented out loud: “You know what us black people are like…”

October 2006

Again, this time at our doorstep and in front of my mother, regarding a prior request for a car (not van) due to rear passenger-seat comfort of injured leg, the driver comments to me a number of times and at volume, “What d’you think you are, posh or somethin?” On this occasion I was pushed to answer back with an explanation with some anger. The same driver also swore at volume with complete disregard, into his phone all the way down the M4 motorway.

November 2006

This decisively “Mute” driver displayed the most frightening erratic and dangerous driving all the way down the motorway and into London. At one point we were ‘driver-side wheels in the corrugated central-reservation border’ at around 70mph, not to mention brake slamming in the urban areas, which on one occasion literally sent me flying.

January 2007

This rude and arrogant driver in a calm discussion as to which routes ahead seemed clearer, out-of-nowhere asked me if I would like to get out and walk, snapping I could go one way, and he’d go the other. I refrained from any further conversation with him after this. He later kept asking me to do the window up, though when I explained to him that I felt sick, reminding him of his duty to care and deal with such incidents should they occur, was again snapped at, this time warning me not to be sick as I was a ‘transferable’ patient anyway, whatever this meant.


As mentioned, criticism of this Orthopaedic and Plastics team has always been grounded in some dilemma as surgically – the skill of these doctors has been nothing short of exceptional. Alas, entirely unnecessarily this has too often contrasted sharply with their ‘bedside’ manner, and as such feel duty bound to highlight experiences on behalf of the less vocal.

July 2006

On initial transfer to Charing Cross, I recall feeling what can only be described as a feeling of contempt from this group. Visiting consultants just stared at me as if I was inhuman or a ghost. A stone-faced female plastics consultant or registrar throughout came across as abrupt and unfriendly, to the point of being unusual. As strange as it may sound, I actually felt as if I was being judged on my accident.

In particular, I vividly recall my experience of a prolonged panic-attack brought on by breathing and cooling issues, consequent of a Pulmonary Embolism. In this enduring memory, I recall these doctors and nurses just stood round my bed throughout, staring at me as if in disgust or as if some sought of weirdo – a picture I will never forget…

August 2006

During my stay, sympathy was felt for a concerned doctor who had accidentally pricked herself with a needle she had used on me. Whilst happy to compliantly answer an apparently routine health questionnaire in relation to the incident, I was alarmed and shocked to be asked questions basically inferring I could be homosexual. At the time whilst vulnerable and dependant I still genuinely wanted to help, but some time after leaving felt quite offended, even violated that I had been cornered this way.

October 2006

Months later, I was to attend my first fracture clinic as an outpatient. Here a simple enquiry as to how long they would expect to retain an excruciatingly painful piece of metallic, surgical apparatus through my right leg was unbelievably insensitive.

I was abruptly and coldly just told as long as possible, as otherwise my leg could break again leading to amputation – though this, rather than stated, instead comically indicated with a finger-knife action across my leg and, believe it or not – a whistle!

November 2006-January 2007

Successive attendances as an outpatient had felt akin to a cattle market, with all the staff friendliness and dignity to match, though the final straw arrived for me on attendance of my “decidedly” final – March 2007 clinic.

March 2007

Following the usual wait plus an additional hours wait alone in an assessment room, an attempt to ask a number of predetermined ‘Quality-of-life’ questions, actually quite dear to me, was again slighted. I was just made to feel hurried and my questions trivialised, and this from a consultant I had until then held head-above-the-rest. To my anger he commented that we guys always wanted more, as if not individuals but one homogenous group, before eventually just walking out citing urgency of schedule.


Throughout my stay and after first being told I might not make it, I lost count of the numerous times (well into double figures I kid you not) the mantra “You could lose your leg” was repeated by these doctors, practically drummed into me to the point I literally had to blot it out to steady both morale and sanity. This of course continued into outpatient status, even adding that at any other hospital I would have probably lost my leg, then citing an envisaged femur surgical-correction as a “loss” potential.

Their policy, at least verbally, was one of astonishingly cold, matter-of-fact negativity toward my recovery, one consultant telling me – I will likely “never” bend my leg again, another – I will “never” recover sensation following an under-arm operation, “never” this, “never” that, “never, never, never” – all of which I have proved wrong.

I also felt the success of the operation seemed to oddly remove any right for me to question or query issues concerning my own body – as if I should just be thankful.

I am not naïve in recognising a perhaps litigious wary “prepare-a-patient-for-the-worst” thinking behind their approach, though it is one thing to “air-on-the-side-of-caution”, and another to denigrate. I would like to think these people were glad of my recovery, though a more cynical me would ponder the thought of some power-driven attempt to further distress me. I even actually recall first, the look of anticipation, then surprise on a doctors face, my having showed no reaction to being told hopes of a then discharge were instead dashed. I genuinely can not understand why people, who I am sure deep down do want to save life and limb, feel it necessary to inhumanely convey such contortion, in such a disturbing and callous manner.


Lead nurse was unprofessional

I should have had my hysterectomy at the beginning of June but I was left waiting for four and a half hours and was refused pre-med so I couldn’t have it done. I feel the delay and care was disgusting and had to arrange to have my hysterectomy on a later date.

When I went into hospital the second time I was caring more about the lead nurse (who was very unprofessional towards me). She gave me and my family filthy looks. I think she needs extra training to be demoted.


Impressed with the facilities overall

This was the first time I had visited the Treatment Centre at QMC Nottingham. I was very impressed with the facilities overall. However, the waiting area outside the consultant’s rooms was very cramped and uncomfortable. I heard nurses talking over the top of the patients’ heads as if we weren’t there which I really didn’t like. They were discussing their hot flushes and moaning about the doctors. It was very unprofessional. I had to wait there almost 45 minutes. Professor Atherton was, as ever, helpful as he genuinely listens to his patients.


Daughter’s meds given 3.5 hours late

My daughter was born on the maternity ward at Lewisham Hospital, and I have never been so afraid in my life. The staff I encountered were rude, unprofessional, and they gave my wife the worst attention I have ever witnessed in my life.

At one point, my 1 day old daughter’s essential meds for her eyes were given 3.5 hours late. When I asked why she had been missed I got the reply, everybody is very busy, in the end I took over the responsibillity of doing the meds myself.

Trust me, after this experience I would not allow any more of my children to be born there. Some of the staff seem to have a very big “I don’t give a damn” attitude. It’s completely disgusting.


I had not asked for a discharge

I was admitted to Tameside Hospital having a problem that had seen me in the hospital previously. It was a horrible time for me as I truly worried for my life. As there was a shortage of beds I was told I’d be put in a ward which is for patients with serious stomach problems.

My illness was unrelated. I was informed that the medic assigned to me would see me at 11.00am and I was also given the said medics name.

What a surprise, I did not see anyone until the following Monday.

Naturally by then I was extremely concerned and also very anxious.

I asked as to when the medic would arrive and I felt like I was grudgingly told at 11.00am.

The medic actually arrived at around 11.30-11.45, which I think consequently meant that every patient he was to see would have their lunch interrupted and therefore the lunchtime meal would be cold. I did not see or hear any apologies or consideration of the same given by said medic. My thought at the time was I wonder how much he would appreciate it if I interrupted him halfway through his lunch without any apology or explanation.

And so I asked him directly as to where he got to the first time I was supposed to have seen him and also why I was left for 3 days to worry about what was wrong with me. He instantly then began to say to me that I could not speak to him so I asked why not?

He then vanished and later I happened to see that on my documentation a note had been added that according to someone I was classed as “verbally abusive” which I think is a lie.

I only became more forceful in my manner after I felt the said medic became rude and showed me disrespect. At no time did I use bad language although at the time it did cross my mind in order to get my point across. I was then informed that apparently the information I was given about our first meeting was incorrect.

And so as I am big enough to admit it when wrong I duly sought out the said consultant and made my apology. However, it was decided that I should be referred to yet another consultant.

However, later that same day I was suddenly whisked off to have a C-T scan and also fitted with a 24 hour trace all in the space of a few hours I also had a Doppler scan. But still I felt like nobody was telling me what was wrong with me. It was only when my wife made enquiries that it turned out she was told that the medics thought I had an internal bleed and that my blood level was so low that another digit lower and I would require an immediate blood transfusion. So I felt like all of this trouble stress and hassle purely because of a serious lack of communication.

I was then told by the CT scan staff to enquire later on that day as to if my scan results were on the ward. Naturally I was still very anxious and probably more so once I was told of the findings/suspicions.

The results arrived but I had to wait to be told by the right person and so yet another uncomfortable and anxious night passed for me.

The following morning I was woken at around 06-00 by the night staff clattering and banging. Having been disturbed in the same manner the previous morning I decided to get up and so I washed, shaved and was ready for the day. At around 09-30 I approached the staff to enquire as to what time roughly the consultants would be on the ward. I desperately wanted to know the results of my head and chest scan.

I felt like some of the staff were continually unpleasant and uncaring to me. I didn’t see one person in particular smile and did not even acknowledge a morning greeting. Any way I politely asked the question and this person response was “later”. I asked if there was any idea as to roughly when the consultants would arrive and the nurse said to me “No I cant”. I thought this most odd. So I decided that I would seek the needed info elsewhere and I happened to see a doctor that I had got to know arrive at the end of the ward. This doctor could speak the same language as me so we had several small conversations which was fun for me. This doctor always has a smile and a kind word for everyone and is in my opinion a true credit to the profession.

I was about to politely ask about my scan results when another person appeared who turned out to be the consultant. I felt he barged into the conversation I was having, without any explanation or excuse nor did he at anytime identify himself. I felt unimpressed by his attitude, general manner. I explained that I was having a conversation to do with my medical condition to which he was not asked or invited to comment on and he said to me to go back to my ward.

I found this person rude, arrogant and at that point I had had enough and made it clear in plain English that I was not happy. I then turned my back and proceeded in the opposite direction.

I began to pack my belongings and I thought I overheard the staff say to each other just to let me go. At this point I was feeling angry. I still had a cannula attached and no info as regards to my condition.

The nurse then said to me the cannula needs to be taken out. I told the nurse that they would not be doing anything further either for me or to me. The next thing I see are 2 security guards! I thought they were courteous and I explained the trials and events that had transpired.

I also explained that there would certainly be no trouble from my side. And so then another nurse who I knew appeared and feeling that my point had been made I allowed the nurse to remove the cannula.

I was then discharged despite the fact that I had not asked for a discharge and in the company of 2 minders I left the premises.

Needless to say I have transferred my own personal medical affairs to the Royal Oldham Hospital where I hope to find a more professional and caring approach.


A humiliating experience at Ormskirk

I want to raise a concern about the procedure undertaken in theatre before having my hip replacement.

I think it is almost abuse to be catheterised in front of male staff, while even a male member of staff was watching and decided he would inform me that this was the most embarrasing part of the proceedure.

How unprofessional is that for a hospital that claims to protect dignity? I am so disgusted that my hope is I never have to have another operation at Ormskirk Hospital.

Also the nurses seem only to congregate at the nurses station rather than observing patients needs on the ward. What an awfull experience it was.