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To walk out the hospital before seeing the consultant

(92 Posts)
StripeyBroomstickSpottyWand Thu 12-Jul-07 20:59:36

My appt was at 3:15pm so got my mum to pick up dd from school. Appt was to discuss the results of my mammogram from 2 weeks ago.

It got to 4:00pm and I'm still in the waiting room. Now I know the nhs often runs late, etc through no fault of their own. But they have a notice saying if you will be more than 30mins late we will come and tell you so I was pissed off noone had. I went and asked the receptionist if it would be much longer and she said I was next.

5 mins later I was called into a room, told to strip my top things off and sit there. The nurse left and said she'd be back "in a minute" with the consultant. 15mins later she hadn't come back. I got dressed and left.

I guess I was a bit stressed by the whole experience of been called back. I was very pissed off about sitting by myself half naked in a room and none came back to tell me what was happening. I was also stressed about getting home and giving dd her tea so she could go to Beavers tonight. I wouldn't mind waiting so muc if they communicated a bit better.

Pitchounette Thu 12-Jul-07 21:04:44

Message withdrawn

rookiemum Thu 12-Jul-07 21:08:02

You poor thing that is shocking, completely reasonable, but i hope you get to see the consultant soon.

Tamum Thu 12-Jul-07 21:08:34

Have to agree with Pitchounette- definitely worth going back, though I know how frustrating it is, having to wait.

rookiemum Thu 12-Jul-07 21:08:46

I should validate that I meant that you were being completely reasonable, not them

HonoriaGlossop Thu 12-Jul-07 21:56:45

Yes, I would ring and make another time just so that you can go through with them about the results. But I would send or take with me a strongly worded letter about the fact that TOTALLY unecessarily they got you to strip and sit there awaiting the entrance of god knows who, who was then a LONG time - 15 minutes is a helluva long time in that situation. You poor thing.

There is no way they needed you to strip off in preparation for this consultant's arrival FGS. I think even a god like consultant shouldn't mind at least being introduced to his patient before seeing them sitting there stripped like a piece of meat. It would have used maybe five seconds of his/her time and would have given you some dignity!

I really, really feel this was bad practice.

Hope it goes much better next time. But do complain about this. Good luck. x

Anoah Thu 12-Jul-07 22:08:13

So basically what you are saying is this:

If that nurse had another patient who became extremely poorly or was distressed and bawling her eyes out because she was just given a terminal diagnosis; the nurse should have left her to come back and cater to you.

When stuff like this happens it is more likely to be a result of the situation I described above.

These kind of complaints annoy the piss out of me.

Once I had a patient that was due a dressing change at 3PM. At 2:50 another patient under a different consultant got told that she was going to die anytime due to an unfixable problem. She was hysterical as she was a single mum to a disabled son. I stayed with her about 25 minutes to give her a shoulder to cry on. At 3:15 yet another patient went into and unexpected cardiac arrest. I (and the crash team) managed to get him back actually and he went to ITU. No other nurses on the ward except me because NHS won't pay for that.

At 3:55 I finally got back to the dressing change lady. She had a really bitchy go at me for "leaving her sat there for an hour" and she went onto file a complaint about me.

Absolutely no way in hell could I have even taken 2 minutes away from those other patients to go and apologise to the dressing change lady for having to wait. Cardiac arrest patient would have died had I even been thinking about dressing change patient at that point.

Nice huh? See what you get for giving someone a shoulder to cry on and saving a life.

I wouldn't get pissed off unless I knew why the nurse or consultant didn't come as fast as they promised. I know it was outpatients rather than a ward but still.....Nurses and doctors never know where they are going to be or what is going to happen 3 minutes from now. They don't know how long it is going to take either.

The only thing I would be angry about is the fact that she promised you she would be back in five minutes when she probabl knew damn well that you cannot keep those kind of promises to patients.

StripeyBroomstickSpottyWand Thu 12-Jul-07 22:30:45

Mmmmmm no I'm not saying that at all.

I'm saying that if their clinic is running an hour late they should have the courtesy to tell you how much longer they're going to be. Even their own poster says they do that and they didn't. I understand that nurses and doctors don't know hw long things will take (am a midwife myself) but the receptionist should know roughly how far behind clinic is running.

I also shouldn't have to sit half naked for 15mins+ waiting for the consultant. Like Honoria said, why can't I strip off when the consultant gets there.
Its unacceptable and I wouldn't do it to a woman.

TenaLady Thu 12-Jul-07 22:34:26

ooh, not nice being left exposed like that but I can betcha the delay probably to deal with an emergency.

It depends why you were at the hossy really and whether now they will take you seriously for any possible future treatment.

It is tough for those Doctors to keep the balls up in the air and have you seen the hours they work too.

MamaMaiasaura Thu 12-Jul-07 22:39:06

Anoah - think your post was alittle harsh. I am a nurse myself and yes on a busy ward it is hard ot keep to time constraints. THis was though an OP appointment so less likely to have life threatening situation. If she was about to given someone bad news (which imo is unlikely as that would be the consiltant) then she wouldnt have asked OP to remove her top surely??

I actually think the OP has been treated unfairly. Think that she should try and re-arrange appt as clearly important to get results etc. However it is extremely frightening to wait for results like this and tbh it soulnds like the clinic wasnt being run very well.

lisad123 Thu 12-Jul-07 22:44:04

My appointment was over an hour late yesterday and then taken in and told to wait for consultant who tooka nother 20 mins. I was hacked off because i needed the loo and hadnt thought to take a book with me. I would not have dreamed of walking out though. I undrstand the comment about stripping off, and that was out of order. I hope you get a better appointment soon.


whokilledharrypotter Thu 12-Jul-07 22:52:29

It is humiliating to be left partially clothed not knowing what is going on, no matter what the circumstances. So you are not unreasonable in that. Of course you should call them tomorrow and ask for the first appt of the day (then at least they won't be running too late) to get the results.

I can see Anoah's point but no, there is no reason for you to sit there with no clothes on, besides anything else if the consultant wasn't coming because of an emergency you could have been interrupted by a cleaner or whoever.

Anoah Thu 12-Jul-07 22:53:53

I know that nurses don't give out bad news but if bad news was given to a patient by a consultant the nurse would have to be there.

I know it was outpatients but they can still have emergencies.


Knowing what I know I would have hung around for awhile longer and then I would have directed my anger at management and not the nurses and doctors.

If more people understood this rather than directing their anger at frontline staff the hospitals would cease to be such shitholes.

The powers that be aren't stupid. They know that they can save some serious money by intentionally short staffing the hospitals way way way below what is needed for decent patient care. The patients will blame the nurses and doctors and the managers get away with it.

whokilledharrypotter Thu 12-Jul-07 22:56:38

Also, when I was pregnant, overdue and had pre-eclampsia, they left me for six hours on my own in a waiting room because of 'urgent cases'. I collapsed and luckily DH managed to raise the alarm.

I sat there quietly hoping neither I or my baby would die. Perhaps I should have carried on doing so for politeness but no, sometimes you have to make a fuss.

Personally I would have got dressed, gone to reception and asked what the hell was going on. But YANBU to leave.

MamaMaiasaura Thu 12-Jul-07 22:57:31

but she was left half undressed.. hardly respecting the patients dignity as we are taught to do.

whokilledharrypotter Thu 12-Jul-07 23:00:20

I agree hospitals are pitifully short staffed and I feel desperately sorry for the staff who get beaten up and yelled at because they are trying to help - which is why I would definitely have gone to management. However, it doesn't take much to say 'we're sorry, we are running really late, we've had a few really difficult cases this afternoon, it may take a bit before we get to you.' The receptionist can say this, the nurses can say this, the consultant can, it really doesn't matter who says it, but taking those five seconds can mean the patient doesn't is empathic instead of irritated/upset.

lisad123 Thu 12-Jul-07 23:12:40

I was left in a room on monitor last week, and no one came in for over an hour, i was alone I would rather them have left the door open, as anything could have happened in that hour.
We all know the nhs is understaffed, we all know its not the nurses fault but we still should be entitled to good care and not have your basic rights taken away because of it
Im not one for kicking off at nurses or docs and would sit and wait, but now know to question and speak out (politely) when i dont get what i need.

PellMell Thu 12-Jul-07 23:13:27

Firstly I would like to say that I hope all is well with your results.
Secondly, I agree communication could have been better but totally disagree with your actions. That was completely selfish and shows no regard for all the people who wait around for hours on end in a very overstretched nhs hospitals.
Sometimes in life you have to wait!
All you had to do was slip your garment back on and go remind someone that you were there.
Someone else is waiting for the time you wasted.

chikenmother Thu 12-Jul-07 23:27:23

People do expect too much of doctors and nurses, if only they knew about the shortage of personel all over! And about the never endin complaints of everyone towards something they are not responsible for!!!

Blu Thu 12-Jul-07 23:35:44

Stripey - it sounds very anxiety-inducing, and a v stressful afternoon.
Unfortinately, though, you will now have to wait for another appt, and probably waste some more tme in the waitng rom.

Take a deep breath, and if that happens again, before you get really upset, go and ask how long they will be, and tell the receptionist if you need to leave to meet a responsibility.

Don't just stomp off - it's cutting off yur nose to spite yourself.

But heaven knows -i've done that myself under stress! And i agree - it's the communication that is so lacking.

frapachino Thu 12-Jul-07 23:42:59

Totally unreasonable although I do sympathise with your frustration. It is important that you are seen and these clinics often run late due to unforeseen circumstances. A consultants time is very valuable as they are over stretched I know of many that work 80+ hrs a week. Now you will have to be slotted in and another clinic will be running late.

HonoriaGlossop Thu 12-Jul-07 23:44:55

Anoah, the point is that she was left humiliatingly undressed when this was totally unecessary.

I am sure it was that 'exposed' waiting that made her so much more nervous that she went; otherwise it would have been much like waiting in the waiting room!

Frontline staff sometimes have to take the flack, if they make the problem, to be honest.

The nurse shouldn't have made the patient undress and wait. And she should get a more professional tone - 'back in five minutes' should be replaced with 'I will bring the consultant as soon as she/he is free'.

Neither of those things cost money or are to do with the management!

Blu Thu 12-Jul-07 23:48:21

Yes, I agree - leaving Stripey undressed like that was unneccesary and humiliating.

louii Fri 13-Jul-07 00:06:57

Politeness costs nothing, treating fellow humans with dignity and respect is not too much to ask, no matter how busy you are.

YANBU, what happened at your appointment was out of order.
I am also a nurse by the way and there is no excuse for what happened you.

Please re-schedule your appointment, just say you had to leave as u got an urgent phonecall or something.



obimomkanobi Fri 13-Jul-07 07:03:05


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