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Diagnostic

A painful procedure

Access to pregnancy testing services

Receiving another person's test results

 

 

 

 

A painful procedure

DHB ~ Diagnostic colonoscopy ~ Rights 4 & 5

A 92-year-old man contacted an advocate after a consultant did not respond to his pleas to stop a colonoscopy procedure. He had found the procedure extremely painful, and said he had been screaming in agony.  He was very upset that the consultant ignored him and continued with the procedure despite him asking the consultant to stop on numerous occasions.  Finally the procedure was abandoned because his bowel was not completely cleared.

As a result of this experience he cancelled any further tests at the hospital.

With the advocate's assistance the consumer wrote a letter of complaint. He was very excited about the response as his complaint had prompted the hospital to change the policy about colonoscopies. Not only would they now warn consumers about the pain they might experience, but there as an additional requirement to check with consumers whether to stop or continue with the test. They have changed the consent form to reflect this inclusion.

The consumer was pleased that he had been listened to and that his complaint had been influential in making positive changes for consumers having this procedure in the future.  He told the advocate he felt confident to self advocate in the future if necessary.

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Access to pregnancy testing services

Proper standards ~ Maternity care ~ DHB ~ Diagnostic tests

A woman having her second child contacted an advocate for support as she had been unable to access the diagnostic support she felt she required after the complications of her first pregnancy. Her GP had been unable to progress the matter. With advocacy support the woman wrote to the local DHB outlining the reasons why she should have the tests. Shortly afterwards, she was contacted by telephone and offered a more comprehensive service, due to her past history. 

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Receiving another person's test results

DHB laboratory results ~ Right 4 ~ Privacy breach

A consumer (with a medical background) requested the results of recent tests from the hospital laboratory. She was distressed and anxious to find they indicated she had a pre-curser to cancer. She contacted her GP who said she must have received other person's results. When she looked at them again she discovered that they did belong to another person. 

The consumer called the hospital laboratory and was put through to the manager who seemed disinterested and was about to hang up. The consumer insisted the event was a serious breach of privacy and that she wanted answers to how it could have happened.  The manager advised her to write a letter of complaint. It was at that stage she contacted the advocate for support.

Having considered the options, the consumer chose to meet with the hospital complaint manager and the CEO. Both expressed their disappointment that the consumer's concerns were not taken seriously.  The CEO committed to researching how their system operated and to look at and implement a strategy so another mix-up like this would not happen again. They also committed to reviewing the laboratory's complaint process and to speak with the manager.

The advocate, who supported the consumer at the meeting, was invited to provide training on the Code and the complaint process to a number of DHB managers.

Following the meeting, the consumer said she was pleased she had taken her issue further and was very pleased with the outcome. She did however comment "that if the Manager had taken me seriously in the first place it would have ended there".

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