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NHS ‘must show patients more respect’

The NHS must be more welcoming to patients who often feel they should not bother doctors, the new patient safety commissioner for England has urged.

Dr Henrietta Hughes, who takes up the role this week, said it was vital that patients had time to ask questions, despite pressures on the health service.

Clinicians and managers need to put themselves in the shoes of their patients, she said, highlighting “highly inappropriate” interactions between doctors and patients that showed “a total lack of care and respect”.

Hughes said it was not a surprise that all the groups affected in the Cumberlege report were women. “That’s something which is a societal problem, and it’s really important that the voices of all patients, including those of women, are listened to and taken really seriously,” she said. “Because otherwise untold harm happens and it can not only extend to the individual patient themselves, but to their families, to their children, to their livelihoods. This role is a real opportunity for championing patients’ voices, and also making sure those who are in charge who are able to make the changes, listen and respond appropriately."

Read full story (paywalled)

Source: The Times, 14 July 2022


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