Whittington patient given a pillowcase instead of gown
PUBLISHED: 08:59 31 October 2011
A patient made to strip for an X-ray was told the hospital had no gowns – and was then handed a pillow case to cover up after he complained.
Craig Matthews was told to undress to his boxer shorts for an X-ray on his back at the Whittington Hospital in Magdala Avenue, Archway, last Tuesday, October 18.
The 45-year-old, a journalist who lives in Highbury, expected to be given a gown – as is standard practice – but was shocked when the radiographer said they never used them and did not have any.
He said: “The radiographer was very flippant, but I’ve had about 10 X-rays all over the world and I have always been given a gown. Only four months ago I was given one at University College Hospital in Euston.”
One of the radiographers eventually went in search of something for him to wear and returned with a pillow case, seemingly to wrap around his waist.
“I was offered a makeshift gown from a pillow case and a pullover,” he said. “The pillow case was to cover my boxer shorts area. This is about the dignity of patients – it’s inappropriate and unprofessional.”
“Of course I’m not going to wear a pillow case, so I had to do it in my boxers.
He added: “This is about the dignity of patients – it’s inappropriate and unprofessional. It’s a lot easier for a guy to take their kit off, but what if it was a young girl or a or young boy, or if someone was not wearing any underwear? They said that happens sometimes.”
Mr Matthews says the radiographer gave some explanation about a lack of budget – even though hospital gowns can be bought for as little as £4 online. He was later told by the X-ray manager that he should have been given a gown.
The hospital’s own policy on privacy and dignity states: “It must be ensured that hospital gowns and pyjamas are worn correctly”.
A spokeswoman for Whittington Health, which runs the hospital, said: “Whittington Health is very sorry that Mr Matthews’ privacy and dignity were compromised when he came for an X-ray.”
Warren Town, director of industrial relations at the Society of Radiographers, said: “We expect members to respect the dignity and wishes of patients.”
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Islington Gazette. Click the link in the orange box above for details.