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Aibu to think my Gp broke patient confidentiality?

(59 Posts)
hellsbellstree Tue 04-Nov-14 11:53:04

I've nc to not out myself, and I know this is a sensitive subject.

I attended a Gp appointment and after booking in I took a seat in the waiting room.

There was a couple of patients already waiting, and I took notice of the board on the wall that bleeps and displays the patients name and Gp room number and name, indicating to go through.

I had been told a few weeks ago the dr that I would be seeing, and I knew what other dr was on as his name came up to call one of the other women through to their appt. I've seen him before so recognised his name, and I think he is a locum.

I then was called to my appointment, and it was with the Gp that I'd been told I would see, and he is in charge of the practice.

This Gp is very old school, and a bit arrogant, he had another Gp possibly training, sitting in the corner. He didn't mention who this person was or whether I minded their presence. I wasn't fussed by this person as I just wanted to get on with the appointment and I didn't mind them being there.

Sorry to ramble. Next thing I know the locum walks into the room clutching forms and asking the Gp I was seeing if these were the correct forms for referral for a termination, that his patient is waiting and he needed to know which part he needs to sign.

So I'm sitting there whilst my Gp then proceeds to say how he never signs termination forms, will never do the referral, but yes that is the correct form and told the locum what needed signing etc. The locum leaves the room and the Gp then starts a rant to the other person in the room (trainee Gp?) why he won't sign these forms and how he had learnt the hard way......

So aibu to think this is a complete break of confidentiality? I felt so enraged on behalf of the locum's patient.

Shall I complain or am I being a bit over the top?

Thebodynowchillingsothere Tue 04-Nov-14 11:54:48

Sounds dreadful I would complain.

FannyFifer Tue 04-Nov-14 11:54:59

Did you hear the persons name?

FrauHelga Tue 04-Nov-14 11:55:06

Both of them did. The locum shouldn't have come in when you were in the room and your GP should have told him to wait til you had gone.

munchkinmaster Tue 04-Nov-14 11:55:25

No I don't think so. I think needs pointed out to them

Mammanat222 Tue 04-Nov-14 11:58:24

Its a bit out of order but it's not as if he was complaining to the patient in question?

I'd personally be more concerned about the stranger in the room!!!! Over the years I have had students/ trainees in (have had a trainee nurse give me a smear and agreed to trainee in labour) but they have always been properly introduced.

hellsbellstree Tue 04-Nov-14 11:59:20

I'm a bit worried that he'll know it's me that complained.

OOAOML Tue 04-Nov-14 11:59:34

Really bad on the patient confidentiality re the forms. Also not on having someone else in your consultation without speaking to you about it. Our GP surgery does quite a lot of training, and they always make me aware if there will be a student in the room, and give me the option to ask them to leave.

ILovePud Tue 04-Nov-14 11:59:42

I think that's awful, you could easily have deduced who the locum was seeing if you'd seen her go in or come out of the room. It was also disrespectful and unprofessional that the GP had someone else in the room with him and did not introduce them and ask for your consent for your consultation to be observed. I'd be fuming too.

OwlCapone Tue 04-Nov-14 12:01:04

I think it's certainly worth a letter to the practice manager.

Sleepyhoglet Tue 04-Nov-14 12:06:14

He hasn't broken confidentiality- he didn't say the name of the patient. Doctors discuss cases frequently in training sessions but providing they don't reveal details like name etc it isn't wrong

hellsbellstree Tue 04-Nov-14 12:07:57

I saw who went in to see the locum and their name was displayed on the board.

It didn't surprise me that my gp didn't introduce the other person in the room as he is arrogant and full of self importance.

His wife is the practice manager.

hellsbellstree Tue 04-Nov-14 12:09:53

It made me feel uncomfortable and like I was intruding on a conversation that I shouldn't be witness to.

milkysmum Tue 04-Nov-14 12:11:15

I'm not sure it's a breach of confidentiality but terrible behaviour never the less and I would absolutely be writing to the practice manager both about the unknown person in the corner and the locum coming in- it really could have waited a few minutes. I'm a nurse by the way

Swingball Tue 04-Nov-14 12:11:49

Extremely unprofessional, yes I would complain.

ILovePud Tue 04-Nov-14 12:12:09

It's a very difficult situation if his wife is the practice manager, you can always complain to the Care Quality Commission though. Could you change practices, he sounds awful?

LineRunner Tue 04-Nov-14 12:12:17

Did he rant about termination?!

PurpleSwift Tue 04-Nov-14 12:15:07

I don't think they broke confidentiality. You were just in the right/wrong place at the right/wrong time. I'd put it into their suggestion box, perhaps they could be more discreet when alerting/naming patients or discussing patients.

Hatespiders Tue 04-Nov-14 12:29:03

If the OP could see the name of the patient on the board, then the confidentiality is broken , so it isn't BU to object.

Also, the very fact that this interruption occurred during the OP's consultation is really out of order. You shouldn't have anyone bursting in like that; you could have been in the midst of some rather sensitive matters.

And finally, the subject of the interruption was sensitive. If someone came in to ask a mundane question about a form, that's ok ( but a bit irritating) but talking about a termination? No. Letter to Practice Manager should be in order.
Never be afraid to report these things, because they need to know.

I once had a patient confidence problem at my dentist's. Due to very bad childhood abuse involving my mouth (won't go into details) I have to be seen by a female dentist and they have to be very gentle. On the outside of my big brown records envelope was written in huge red ink "Severe Abuse Issues. Special Care" These envelopes were placed upright on a rack at the Reception desk, and all the incoming patients were having a good read. Then I was called through and the nurse picked up my folder, so everybody knew it was me. I could have sunk through the floor. I complained and the folders were put under the desk after that. It's just a matter of common sense (an old friend of mine!)

hollie84 Tue 04-Nov-14 12:33:59

Because of the actions of the GPs the OP knows that Mrs. Amber Brown is having a termination, so of course confidentiality has been broken! Not sure how anyone can argue it isn't confused

It doesn't have to be a deliberate act - having poor systems and data security is just as much of a problem.

OnlyLovers Tue 04-Nov-14 12:34:52

No, YANBU and I think you must complain. If you think the fact that the GP and the practice manager are married might mean it's ignored or not dealt with properly, copy it in to the next person up (I'm sorry, I don't know who that would be).

It may not break confidentiality but a) the GP should have asked your permission to have another person in the room BEFORE asking them in, not had them sitting there when you went in and b) whether a doctor is ranting about signing forms for terminations or ingrowing toenails, that kind of discussion in front of another patient is deeply unprofessional.

Thrholidaysarecoming Tue 04-Nov-14 12:36:34

I was in a bakery shop when a receptionist from my surgery walked in. I knew her on a "hi" basis when passing in the street. In front of a packed shop she asked me how my IVF treatment was going. I was astounded and just said 'fine'

The same receptionist walked in to the room to 'see if I was ok' when I'd asked to see the nurse urgently and was worried about something. shock

I reported her when she left the room.

She is now practice manager. shock

millymae Tue 04-Nov-14 12:40:19

As purple swift says I think it's worth a comment in the suggestion box or to the practice manager. If I was the patient of the GP seeking advice I wouldn't be best pleased that someone I was sitting next to in the waiting room (and could have been someone who knew me) knew why I was seeing the doctor.

In many ways this situation resembles one I found myself in whilst waiting in a hospital outpatient clinic - one of the specialist nurses in a side room was seeking advice from a colleague on the phone about a patient (who I knew socially) and I (and everyone else sitting there) heard every word.

As to the man in the corner .......... in my surgery they ask whether you have any objection to a trainee or whoever sitting in before you even get to see the doctor, and then when you're in the consulting room they are properly introduced. I know some surgeries have a notice on the wall asking patients to let the receptionist know if you don't want anyone sitting in, but whatever, it is certainly not good/acceptable practice for the doctor you were seeing to make no mention of it. I'd put a note in the box about this too!. From what you say about him it sounds as though his 'people' skills aren't the best!

vitabrits Tue 04-Nov-14 12:41:15

In a small town, (like mine), it's quite possible you would have known the other patient or had mutual friends - this would have been uncomfortable knowledge to have of someone with whom you were acquainted.

My worst unprofessional GP story is from years ago. I was seeing a doctor for the first time in a large practice. Halfway through the appointment he received a phone call. He answered it and then told me to go and wait in the corridor while he spoke on the phone. I obeyed and felt like a right knob. After 5 minutes he called me back in to finish my consult. smile I never went back to him!

BuckskinnedAstronaut Tue 04-Nov-14 12:44:40

"He hasn't broken confidentiality- he didn't say the name of the patient."

He didn't need to say the name of the patient, because it had been displayed in six-inch high glowing letters with an accompanying loud "BLEEP" sound to attract everyone's attention.

If everyone in the building knows that Jane Bloggs is in with you as your current patient, and you come out and announce that your current patient is there to get the forms signed for a termination, you are breaking confidentiality.

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