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News & Media

Media Release

Date: 15 October 2020

Phone a friend at your RUH outpatient clinic

Outpatients at the Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust (RUH) are now being encouraged to phone a friend, a member of the family or a carer during their consultation – thanks to one patient's personal experience.

She really wanted some support when she felt it was important during her first 'virtual' phone consultation. She was also concerned that, because of COVID-19 visitor restrictions, she'd have to go alone to her second, this time face to face appointment at the hospital.

So she contacted the Trust's Patient Experience team, who helped arrange for her consultation to be relayed live via mobile phone loudspeaker – as her husband waited outside in their car.

The patient, who has asked not to be named, said: "My consultant was fantastic about it. My husband was able to ask questions and take notes, and having him there on the phone made me feel really supported. It was a very positive experience."

Sharon Manhi, RUH Lead for Patient and Carer Experience, said: "It's such a simple idea and one that our outpatient department staff are more than happy to encourage and organise. We're very aware that coming to a clinic alone can increase a patient's anxiety and stress – so arranging for them to phone a friend, or family member or carer can provide important emotional and practical support."

The RUH is now adding another of the patient's suggestions to their outpatient letters and website page advice – a list of questions and ideas to help people gain the most from their consultation.

Sharon Manhi said: "We're really grateful to the patient – sharing her experience with us has been invaluable. Patient experience matters at the RUH and this is a great example of feedback that helps us to further improve our service for patients and their families and carers."

Please note, with some exceptions during the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • Family or friends are not allowed to accompany patients to outpatient appointments
  • Patients arriving at our A&E department are asked to come on their own
  • Inpatients can have one visitor a day for up to one hour
  • All outpatients and visitors to the RUH are asked to wear a face covering at all times

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