A HOSPITAL visitor was appalled when a group of elderly women were not given help to fasten gowns so their underwear was exposed to male patients.

Jacquie Titmus, who was accompanying her daughter to an appointment at the Worcestershire Royal Hospital, Worcester, helped three women waiting for x-rays to fasten their gowns at the back because she said a nurse had refused to help one of the women and told her to do it herself.

Mrs Titmus did not want them to face the indignity of walking around with their knickers and tights on display in the mixed ward during the incident which happened on Monday, October 22, at around 11am.

The 47-year-old, of Talavera Road, Norton, Worcester, said: “I was appalled with the way that some of the older women were treated.

“They were given gowns and asked to put them on, but they didn’t even fasten up properly as tabs were missing. One lady even asked a nurse to do the gown up and she refused. These poor women had to walk round with their underwear on display. This is a mixed ward.

“I could not let these women walk round like this, so offered to tie the gowns up for them which took seconds.

“I would hate to think of my mother being treated like this. Dignity and respect in the hospital seems to be non-existent. Shouldn’t you treat people the way you would like to be treated?

“One poor lady had a walking stick and was crippled with arthritis. They were all elderly women and you could see that they were embarrassed as there were men in the room as well.

“It was dignity and respect out of the window. Their tights and knickers were showing and there was no way they could have fastened these gowns themselves.”

Umesh Udeshi, consultant radiologist and director of radiology, said: “Patients are given a gown which fastens at the neck and then wraps around to fasten at the side.

“Sometimes the patients tie the gown at the back instead of the side leaving the back gaping. We were not aware that any staff refused to help a patient tie her gown and we can only apologise and find out what happened.

“We take concerns, comments and complaints very seriously as they are invaluable opportunities for us to learn and improve patient experience and care.

“We would urge people to raise any concerns at the time with a senior person in the department. It’s always much easier to put things right at the time.”