Some of you may have read my previous blog about my experience whilst visiting the Breast Clinic a few months ago. I lodged a complaint about how I was treated and almost two months on, I’ve just received a response and I must state clearly – I feel fobbed off and let down.
My first point to them was about the staff’s very obvious concern that I had attended the appointment alone and their request that my hubby come in from the car park. They have responded that, “Due to the nature of the clinic, patients often like a family member present for the consultation and so Dr… was asking if you wished for your husband to be present. This was in relation to the type of appointment you were having rather than any disability.”
I’m sorry but I was there and she had very clear concerns about the fact I was disabled and alone – I very much doubt if every lone patient is questioned in such a way. The letter goes on – “Due to the Covid 19 pandemic, most areas within the Trust restrict visiting and accompanying visitors and (nurse) wasn’t sure if you were aware that this restriction was relaxed in the Breast Clinic.” If this was truly the case, why didn’t she simply ask me if I was aware?
The letter goes on to explain that both the nurse and doctor didn’t mean to cause offence and that things came across in the wrong context. That’s all well and good but it’s just not acceptable – these things should not be happening, disabled people should not be made to feel this way. The hospital say that all the comments made were well meaning but apologise for any offence caused – I feel this excuses it as they “meant well” and like it’s my issue if it made me feel bad. I was there – I’m an intelligent woman and the comments made were said out of pure ignorance, it’s that simple.
I was assured that staff undergo regular Equality and Diversity Training and that the doctor concerned would be renewing her training soon. No urgency or consideration that perhaps the training isn’t as effective or as focused as it needs to be. Again, I feel really let down.