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A stupid rule like this should be broken

(40 Posts)
suebailey1 Fri 29-Aug-14 14:18:55

This morning I went for my breast screening appointment. Ahead of me on the stairs to the mobile unit in Tesco car park was a lady who was being told she couldn't have her appointment as she had her 2 grandchildren with her and they couldn't be left while she was screened as 'unaccompanied children are not allowed in the unit'. She explained there was no-one to look after them as their mother was at work. They turned this lady away and she was very unhappy about this. I offered to look after the 2 very nice , very well behaved children approx. 5 & 7. This was allowable apparently. I sat with them and they played quietly on their tablets. It took about 7 minutes and Gran was back again to collect them. While she was having her test the second radiographer at the reception desk who had turned her way sat doing her crochet. I was so cross. This lady might have been one who having been turned away wouldn't return for another appointment. Surely its more important for her to be screened than a silly rule enforced.

Aka Fri 29-Aug-14 14:33:03

Sorry to disagree Sue but she knew in advance when the appointment was and should have taken steps to ensure there was someone able to look after the children.

I look after my GC on a regular basis, but for something as important as this I'd tell my own children that on this occasion they needed to make an alternate arrangement. Where there's a will....

GrannyTwice Fri 29-Aug-14 14:33:35

You were very nice to help out like this but I do have some sympathy for the rule. Does the letter make it clear that children can't be brought? My dgs2 had to have an MRI and the letter was clear about no children so I looked after dgs1. Not all children are well behaved, are they?

tanith Fri 29-Aug-14 14:49:01

It does say quite clearly on the letter I receive that small children should not be brought as there is nowhere for them to be left while being scanned its unfortunate that the lady didn't know this before she arrived. Well done you for helping her out.

HildaW Fri 29-Aug-14 15:25:15

I disagree that its a silly rule. All aspects of child care, whether for a few minutes or a few hours need to be transparent to ensure safety of the children and the carer. I was involved in pre-schools and Home Start and we always had to ensure all those in unsupervised contact were checked and also, just as importantly, carers did not lay themselves open to malicious accusations. These two children might well have been delightful on this occasion but what if a misunderstanding occurred and an unguarded comment was made? Its always best to be above board and official when unrelated children are involved. All this lady needed to have done was invite a friend she knew to accompany her if she was unable to leave them at home. Such appointments are usually of long standing and My sympathies are with the staff who were placed in an uncomfortable position.

Child safety is all our responsibilities and its been brought home to me only today. My daughter has begun a new job working with the police and in the last couple of days a colleague of hers has just dealt with a case where a member of the public has asked for a new family friend to be checked out under the 'Sara's Law' provisions. Within 24 hours the man was arrested for being a threat and in breach of previous rulings.

Lona Fri 29-Aug-14 15:29:33

I agree that this is not a stupid rule. I wouldn't leave my gc with a stranger even for a few minutes. Sorry Sue.

ninathenana Fri 29-Aug-14 16:23:49

Not a stupid rule for reasons stated by others but also for the fact that space and seating inside the unit is very limited. If another patient had arrived with a couple of children would subsequent patients be expected to wait outside ?

harrigran Fri 29-Aug-14 18:51:40

I am having mine tomorrow morning, nowhere on my letter does it state children can not attend, not that I would take them anyway.

HildaW Fri 29-Aug-14 20:11:13

Exactly harrigran, would not dawn on me to consider attending such an intimate appointment with children in tow. Its not like it could not be rearranged to suit either....a breast screening is such a regular occurrence. And if one was daft enough to take offence and not attend.....then is that not a silly case of cutting one's nose off to spite your face?

Greenfinch Fri 29-Aug-14 20:24:16

It is so easy to re-arrange these appointments that there would have been no need for her to take the children. They even do them on Saturday mornings which is when I had mine after I had to change it at least 3 times for childcare and other reasons. There was absolutely no problem about changing it. Imagine if everyone took one or two children. The thin edge of the wedge !

rosequartz Fri 29-Aug-14 20:54:42

What if one of the children had decided to take off from the mobile screening unit - what should the other radiographer have done in those circumstances? Run after the child - and the units are usually in car parks - and risked being accused of 'grabbing' him or her and then be suspended from work with an enquiry, or call for the grandmother who may have been in a state of undress?

It was kind of you to offer to look after them but she shouldn't have taken them with her. They should, however, make it clear on the appointment letters that children should not be brought to appointments.

suebailey1 Sat 30-Aug-14 11:44:30

It was not clear on the letter and this lady had taken time off from her job as a nurse to keep her app. If you look at the stats for people who don't turn up for appointments esp cervical smears and breast screening we need to make child care easier not harder and as for doing her crochet well!!

suebailey1 Sat 30-Aug-14 11:45:11

and there was plenty of room!

suebailey1 Sat 30-Aug-14 11:46:57

perhaps I shouldn't haven offered to help have given her a lecture on getting childcare for her grandchildren.sad

thatbags Sat 30-Aug-14 11:52:46

What you did was kind and helpful, sb. In a public(?) waiting-room I don't really see why the crocheter couldn't have just kept an eye on the children too.

thatbags Sat 30-Aug-14 11:55:08

It's unadvisable to be left alone with a child who is not your own, but there were two of them and you were there as well. I don't think whatever rule they were following has been explained properly. What rules there are are for their protection as well as for the kids', but the rules are not cast in stone.

ninathenana Sat 30-Aug-14 12:25:24

Different to the unit they use around here then sue There are only 4 seats in the waiting area and if someone is giving details to the person on reception then you have to stand on the steps and wait to get in !!

Galen Sat 30-Aug-14 12:54:00

Same as here and boy, do I struggle with those steps

Aka Sat 30-Aug-14 13:04:24

By pure co-incidence my breast screening appointment arrived in the post just now. It's for next Thursday at 4.20pm. Not only will I have a 3-year old, 2x4-year olds, but will just have picked the 8-year old up from school.

I've decided to take them all with me in the car, plus a friend (who knows them well) and she will attempt to entertain them in the car for the few minutes I'm inside.

HollyDaze Sat 30-Aug-14 13:32:05

It's unlikely that the hospital's insurance would cover them for child-minding duties; if either of the children had an accident and legal action was taken against the hospital, all hell would break loose.

I do think you were very kind to offer to look after them but there are times in life when it's a case of 'your children, your responsibility'.

JessM Sat 30-Aug-14 13:45:11

If it is anything like the places I've been screened you go into a small room with just you and the radiographer. You strip to the waist (which you might not mind doing in front of grandchildren). Then the radiographer sticks your boob into the machine and has to retreat behind a screen. This is because of the radiation exposure which should be avoided if possible by non patients. Dentists often leave the room and press the button in the corridor. It would be a bit naive to think that you can take the kids in with you. Or leave them in the waiting room if they are under 7. Perfectly sensible rule.

jinglbellsfrocks Sat 30-Aug-14 13:54:38

I think it was really mean, them not keeping an eye on the two kids.

Where's their spirit of sisterhood?


Elegran Sat 30-Aug-14 14:17:16

Two kids - maybe. If six women turned up with three kids each (after hearing that the nice nurses in the unit looked after someone else's children) it would be mayhem.

Years ago I used to volunteer with the WVS who ran a creche in the waiting-room at one hospital department. There were toys and books, and the volunteers read stories and distracted the children when their mothers were in the consulting room. It worked well, but I think it has been discontinued. Being responsible for an indefinite number of children with no way to lock them in (!) took the skill of a nursery teacher.

suebailey1 Sat 30-Aug-14 14:27:05

No this is a good space with two long benches and two undressing rooms which have a double door so you never come outside undressed just straight into the screening room when the radiographer knocks on the door. There are never more than one woman being screened and one undressing at a time. The whole process took less than 7 minutes. My point is if you are a qualified clinician in charge of a unit (there were no other managers present)as these two are they are quite within their clinical expertise and accountability to make a reasonable risk based judgement but this woman was a jobsworth- no doubt about it her crochet was more important than this patients needs.

rosequartz Sat 30-Aug-14 14:41:52

I must say that years ago I 'kept an eye' on often quite disruptive children in the clinic where I worked. However, I am not so sure that I would do so nowadays with so many rules, regulations, and H&S issues.