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Sue wants staff to make sure they explain things clearly to patients


Sue is supporting our ‘It Starts With You’ campaign by sharing her story with us

Hospital bed in corridor

Sue went into hospital for a CT Urogram earlier this summer.  She told us that no one had explained what would happen during the procedure and this left her feeling disoriented and distressed.  Sue shared her story with us because, as she stated, it is, ‘Important to me that the staff concerned are given feedback (but without it being a criticism of their care in general as I couldn’t fault that)’.

Sue told us, ‘I went for a CT Urogram. All the staff were very pleasant and professional. I was seen quickly. Two different nurses asked if I had ever had this type of scan before. When I said no, neither then explained what would happen. A further nurse inserted a cannula in my arm which she said was for the introduction of dye during the CT. In the scanner room I was asked to lie on the bed, raise my arms above my head and keep still.’

Sue went on to describe her experience of the procedure.  ‘No-one explained what else would happen, or that there would be two injections of the dye and what I was likely to feel as this happened. In the event, I felt very strange with a metallic taste in my mouth, shaking arms and dizziness. When the nurse came to take me out of the scanner I was quite disoriented and a little distressed but she was kind and concerned and said the effects I had felt were very common.

It’s a shame then that no-one had talked me through this before the procedure started because I feel I would then have coped better with it all.’

Sue was very positive about the general care she received from the hospital but felt that the staff need to be ‘reminded of what it is like for the patients.’

Our Healthwatch is using Sue’s feedback to help health professionals understand how important it is to explain what is happening at all the different stages of a medical procedure.

The hospital spokesperson told us, 'the Trust is saddened by this patients' experience as it is not to the standard we expect nor normally deliver. We would like to apologise to the patient and assure them that their comments have been shared with the staff so that they can learn and amend their practices around communication'.

It Starts With You

Everything we do starts with what local people tell us. Share your experiences and ideas to help services hear what works, what doesn’t and what you want from care in the future. No matter how big or small the issue, tell us about it.  If it matters to you then it’s very likely it matters to someone else.

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