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About how some people treat NHS staff

(43 Posts)
YellowTulips Wed 12-Aug-15 16:19:23

Been in out patients today to see my consultant as part of an ongoing chronic condition.

Arrived on time but as is the case there was a bit of a wait time. In context mine was 30 mins so not really hugely significant.

I just sat and read my book but became more aware of the seething resentment around me.

Lots of nasty comments about why are we waiting, I pay my taxes, what's that bloody nurse doing etc

Then this escalated into harassing the clinic reception staff and being rude.

I honestly couldn't believe it. The staff were obviously busy and appointment times had slipped.

Part of the irony (to me) was that my condition usually impacts older people, so the vast majority of complainers were retired whereas I'd had to take the day off!

I'm didn't think I had judge pants but I was wearing them today.

Really awful behaviour hmm

LaurieFairyCake Wed 12-Aug-15 16:25:26

Yes the behaviour is awful and very rude

And (not but!) waiting is really crap - I hate waiting and I hate taking spending whole half days waiting for doctors appointments because the times have slipped.

HappilyMarriedExpat Wed 12-Aug-15 16:27:45

I think YAB a bit U.

It is bloody annyoing to have to wait around, whether retired or not, and often it's simply because they have given all the clinic appointments for the same time. Because we can't have the doctors waiting around now can we... hmm Then they tell you it's because of an "emergency" so you can't complain without looking like a twat.

I would never say "I pay my taxes" but I do feel that patients also deserve respect (at least until they prove otherwise). I also think that, absent nutters and drunks, if you need a sign up asking people not to abuse you, then you are probably not spectacularly impressing your customers.

<splinters in my arse>

TenForward82 Wed 12-Aug-15 16:28:26

I hate waiting too - especially because they make a fuss about you being late to an appointment. Last week I got caught in a roadblock so was 20 mins late to my appointment. Receptionist made a big deal about checking that the doctor "would still see me" - despite the fact that I was in the same clinic 2 days earlier and was kept waiting an hour and half for my appointment. I mean, come on.

Having said that I would never be rude to the staff because I know it's not their fault, and I'm sure they're not all sitting around drinking cups of tea.

Feline9 Wed 12-Aug-15 16:28:38

Were they being rude or just asking how long it would be?

difficultcolleague101 Wed 12-Aug-15 16:30:09

I have to admit I would normally agree OP but yesterday went to A & E myself and was spoken to like something that they had stepped in.

It's made me less sympathetic.

YellowTulips Wed 12-Aug-15 16:32:26

Yes they were rude verging on aggressive in one case - leaning over the seated receptionist (who was seated) and swearing about waiting times.

I don't like waiting either but the department was obviously busy and the staff getting grief were clearly not going to be able to "bump my appointment up the bloody chain so I can get in with visiting my friend" etc

Chunkymonkey79 Wed 12-Aug-15 16:32:37

I'm kind of on the fence about this.

It does really piss me off when I make arrangements around appointments and I am then held up because whoever my appointment is with is late. (NHS or not). I might need to pick the kids up, get to work, have another appointment etc. 5 or 10 minutes I don't mind, but I have been kept waiting for around an hour for a few NHS appointments and it is incredibly frustrating and stressful if I really need to get somewhere else for a certain time. Departments who cannot keep up with the scheduled appointments really do need to rethink their appointment systems.

However, there really is no need to be rude to staff. It doesn't hurry things up at all, it actually slows things down! People should complain through the proper channels if they have been so badly affected by lateness.

YellowTulips Wed 12-Aug-15 16:34:14

Ouch - sorry for the typos and replication! Still getting over the tests today!

Feline9 Wed 12-Aug-15 16:36:46

I think if they're being rude then YANBU but sometimes staff really do try your patience, especially reception staff who think they know more about your condition and try to change what you asked for

goodasitgets Wed 12-Aug-15 16:39:18

In the space of 20 mins I got called a lifesaver and f'in c*nt

YellowTulips Wed 12-Aug-15 16:43:56

The receptionist was perfectly professional and pleasant.

She kept her cool - don't know how tbh.

It was the patients who were rude.

muminhants1 Wed 12-Aug-15 17:00:37

I agree that people are rude and there's no justification for it. But the timekeeping is shocking and it's not JUST down to overrunning appointments. I remember my son having an appointment at Southampton General hospital a few years ago (an hour's train journey away). It was at 9am. We arrived on time.

At 9.30 the consultant rolled in. I'm not sure when we were called in. No apology, no explanation for being so late. He was very nice to my son, so I didn't say anything about the delay, but if he'd be an arse I would have done. If I were in charge of that hospital people would be on time for work regardless of their position. Doctors are not God, despite often thinking that they are. I know people can be stuck in traffic but no retailer would accept that excuse from a shop-worker.

madmother1 Wed 12-Aug-15 17:03:34

I've been told I'm not doing my job right as the waiting list is so long and sworn at today....All in a days work grin

HappilyMarriedExpat Wed 12-Aug-15 17:05:01

Mum I suspect that hospital is the same as the one DH works in. All in the appointments are given at 9am and the clinic runs from (say) 9 till 11.

I don't condone rudeness to staff, but it cuts both ways.

And YY to the poster above who talked about what happens when patients are late - I have been 10 minutes late to a GP appointment because of a car accident causing a tailback. I called ahead to explain. When I arrived the GP had gone home! (And yes, it was only 10 minutes).

Samcro Wed 12-Aug-15 17:05:01

having had to wait hours(and I do mean hours) at kids ENT I do not believe any appointment times now. it got so bad I had him moved to adult ENT

CigarsofthePharoahs Wed 12-Aug-15 17:13:49

The only time I got a bit angry -
Arrived for a hospital appointment for 11am, booked in and then waited...
And waited and waited.
Eventually got up to ask what was going on. I wasn't rude or arsey, but I wasn't going to hide that I was less than impressed.
'The consultant is running three hours late.' I was told.
Okay, so why wasn't I told that when I arrived! I'd have gone and got some food, or a drink while I waited, not sat there getting hungrier and hungrier bit not wanting to move unless I was called.
The main reason I was angry was that the receptionist didn't seem to think a three hour wait was a problem. Especially as a lot of staff had gone off for lunch so the waiting time had probably got longer.
Similar thing happened for my 12 week scan. Baby was in a poor position for the nuchal measurement so I was asked to wait a bit and they'd call me back in. ..
Except they all vanished for lunch and there was an emergency (we didn't know) and so much time had gone by dh had to go and move our car as the parking ticket had expired. Nobody thought it was worth mentioning this to the pregnant lady sat all on her own in the waiting room. We had to flag someone down in the end as we thought we'd been forgotten.
In fairness the doctors who treated me were brilliant and nice, but it was the lack of communication that got to me. It would have taken less than a minute to tell me what was happening, and THEN go for lunch.

hiccupgirl Wed 12-Aug-15 17:15:40

YANBU about people being unnecessarily rude.

I've recently had to spend lots of time at various clinics and waiting for consultants. I took a book and read, it wasn't a massive deal. And yes I do work and have a child to pick up from school. And I agree that the biggest moaners I saw where generally older people who were most likely retired.

When it was my turn to see the consultant to be dealt the news that I needed a major operation ASAP, I was very grateful for the fact that I had as long as I needed to speak to him and no-one rushed me. That of course would be why my appointment was 30 mins late and the ones behind probably even later.

sharonthewaspandthewineywall Wed 12-Aug-15 17:16:04

I waited for 2 1/2 hours for an appointment today and was meant to be back at work I allowed an hour and a half, so this inconvenienced my patients then not just myself. This was because one of the doctors 'didnt turn up'. Well thats good.

toomuchtooold Wed 12-Aug-15 17:16:44


it's simply because they have given all the clinic appointments for the same time. Because we can't have the doctors waiting around now can we

Oh god, St Mary's recurrent miscarriage clinic do that. Imagine, I'd been ttc for about 2 years which is at the shorter end of the scale (while I was there I spoke to a woman who'd had 15 miscarriages) and you fight tooth and nail to get referred to it and then you get your appointment letter, it might as well be edged in gold it's so valuable, and you're like "8.45, 8.45, must be there well in time for 8.45" and when you get there the clinic is still closed, nobody can tell you where to go or wait, when the receptionist turns up she's like "I'll answer all questions when the clinic is open" (bangs door shut in your face" and then 30 other women and you get ushered in and seen in order of how fast you could dash to the front row of seats in the waiting room. They did manage to correctly count my chromosomes though so I suppose I should be grateful (then advised me that as the trisomy my children were dying from was almost always fatal, and as I had maybe a 1 in 6 chance of a healthy child otherwise, I might as well keep on trying naturally and having miscarriages until I got a healthy one).

I know there are plenty of nice people who work in the NHS but if they want understanding they'll have to look to someone else. One of my favourite things about not living in the UK any more is not having to deal with the NHS.

chaiselounger Wed 12-Aug-15 17:20:55

Agree with cigars. The communication and the warmth of staff often leaves a lot to be desired!

ArendelleQueen Wed 12-Aug-15 17:23:41

"It was at 9am. We arrived on time. At 9.30 the consultant rolled in."

They're often dealing with inpatients and get delayed in coming to clinics.

mineofuselessinformation Wed 12-Aug-15 17:25:55

Our family record has to be-
Appointment at 11am.
Finally seen at 7.30pm.....

No, that is not a typo. To be fair, the appointment was to see an eminent professor of opthalmology who was the only one capable of dealing with dc's very unusual eye condition. But then again, he was the only one capable of dealing with many, many other people's too, including extreme emergencies.
When we left at 8.30, there will still three people waiting to be seen.

U2HasTheEdge Wed 12-Aug-15 17:30:19

I hate waiting around, like most people do. I am never rude about it though.

My GP surgery seems to book two people into a slot. I was talking to another patient who had the same appointment time with the same GP as me hmm That was a 50 minute wait. If they are just running behind because they had an emergency or had to spend longer with one patient then fine, but double book me? Yeah, that will piss me off.

I used to be able to book double appointments for MH issues or if I wanted to discuss more than two small problems. I booked a double not so long ago to be told by the receptionist on arrival that there is no such thing, I will get as long with the GP as I need. I ended up going in and was told to book another appointment. If they just gave me the double I asked for which the said they would book then that would have saved me a lot of time.

I am newly NHS staff. I have yet to have anyone being rude to me (who doesn't have dementia, or wasn't in a lot of pain) but there is plenty of time!

Sirzy Wed 12-Aug-15 17:31:00

It is frustrating when clinics over run however it isn't generally because staff are being lazy!

When ds was 8 weeks old he was an inpatient, ds took much worse at around 830am and the doctor on the ward called the consultant to get to ds asap - he was with us for around 2 hours saving his life. As it happens this was also his clinic day I later learnt so I am sure people in the clinic were inconvenienced by having to wait but sometimes it really is life of or death.

We have also been the person who spends 40 mins in a 20 min appointment (now booked a double appointment at that clinic) and we have often waited for appointments when things have over ran frustrating but sometimes can't be avoided,

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