AN NHS hospital has purchased “fat suits” in order to teach doctors and nurses how to handle, and empathise with, the morbidly obese patients they encounter. Medical staff in Leicester will don the £800 bariatric outfits to get a first-hand feel for what it is like to be obese, and the suits will also enable them to be “fat models” so they can practise handling grossly overweight patients.
My late father died of cancer last October, after 19 weeks in hospital, and during this time he not only endured all that goes with being a frail terminally ill gentleman of 84, but he also endured unacceptable suffering because his severe sight impairment was hardly recognised or considered by the majority of the staff who treated him.
As well as teaching their staff to improve care for the obese, I really urge all NHS hospitals and clinics to buy a few minimal cost blindfolds and also teach staff what it is like to be a blind or partially sighted patient in a hospital environment. Having witnessed the distress my late father suffered, frightening, scary and terrifying are all terms I would use. Sadly, empathy is not one I could use.Hospitals, please give as much consideration to the immense struggles faced by sensory-impaired patients as obese patients.
Judi Martin, Maryculter, Aberdeenshire