Primary and urgent care survey - patient experience – dignity and respect

Approximately 200 comments were about poor patient experience, which included being treated with lack of dignity and respect.

Many of these comments were given in the context of people appreciating the pressure that staff were under, and are balanced by the 800 or so positive comments outlined above.  Comments about what people would like to see improved included wanting to be listened to – this was often about their symptoms not being taken into account properly, not listening to their knowledge about their own condition or reactions to drugs or simply not being given time to explain themselves properly.

Get staff to listen to people. They know about their own bodies and those of their cared ones. I have had bad experiences when my husband was very ill. Staff ignored what I said and my husband was given the same antibiotic on three occasions even though it was recorded that it made him ill. They took no notice when I said he should not be left alone or he would fall, consequently his face was black and bruised and there was bleeding into his brain.

Listen and not to be treated as if you are an idiot you know your own body and if something is not right

Some patients felt that they weren’t taken seriously or believed. Comments were about the attitude of staff including feeling patronised and talked down to.   People were particularly critical of receptionists’ attitudes, and terms were used such as ‘rude’, ‘abrupt’, ‘hard as nails’, ‘obnoxious’, ‘snooty’, ‘dictatorial’, ‘stroppy’, ‘unsmiling’ and ‘brusque’.

I find them all so patronising. They talk about you as if you're not there sometimes. They treat you like a child. I sometimes feel like walking out if I'm honest. You wouldn't put up with that treatment in a shop or a hotel or restaurant so why are we expected to put up with it with the medical profession? Dentists aren't like that, nor are their receptionists - perhaps doctors should take a leaf out of their book

Criticism was made about communication with patients, not just the way they were talked to, but also the lack of information about their condition or treatment.

Lack of care was described by a very few people minority including being left without assistance, not being cleaned up, not feeling safe in hospital and being treated badly.

My experience in the past when someone has been taken into A&E by the ambulance service with a serious medical condition is that the waiting time for him to be assessed was unacceptable.  When he was finally seen he was admitted to hospital immediately as an emergency.  During the waiting time of four hours he was not asked any questions about his condition; he was not given a blanket; and he was left in a wheelchair even though it was quite patently obvious it was extremely uncomfortable for him.  As I accompanied him I was able to "fight his corner" for him and was able to get him onto a bed and get him a blanket but it is wrong that you have to be stroppy to achieve an acceptable outcome

more considerate staff at all levels. It's a hard job but I'm sick of being regarded as just another item

Some described being treated like they were a condition rather than a person and felt like they were a specimen or item on a conveyor belt.

I feel if I can be got out of the door as soon as possible, then all the better. I know everyone feels overworked but can this impression be diverted?

A more personalised, approachable attitude from care professionals.  At present one is merely an item on a conveyor belt.

Don’t make me feel like i am being difficult

all receptionist staff should do basic training about how to deal with patients/member of the public. They all seem to be unsympathetic and are made from the same mould, very selfish

I don't go to the GP unless I am ill or in pain. It would help if he believed what I say and doesn't assume it's all my head.

make sure you can talk to someone in early stage and have people trained to cope with  stress, not bad tempered, unpleasant nurses that add pain to your problems

Allow longer consultation time with GP to allow questions and due cause of condition - not dismissive.

provide working conditions that are good for staff so that they are less stressed and tired and therefore able to provide better patient care.

Everything seems geared to the doctor's or nurse's pleasure and not to the patients. We have time constraints too but they take no notice of that and are not at all sympathetic about it.

I have total respect for people in the health service but I do think they are so over worked that they don't have time to appear as compassionate and interested in your problems

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