Able2UK Losers

Doctor stops disabled woman’s smear test after presuming she does not have sex

Kat Watkins

A disabled woman was left hurt and offended when her doctor presumed she was not having sex because of her disability.

Kat Watkins, from Swansea, lives with osteogenesis imperfecta which creates brittle bones disease, her condition means the 37 year-old uses a wheelchair, but does not stop her from leading an, um, ‘active’ lifestyle.

She told BBC Wales Live: "I've been fighting for the last 37 years to get through barriers and they're still there. So for me they're more than just barriers, it is a constant battle.”

Ms Watkins [pictured above] went for a smear test, but the doctor believed they were no longer needed, pursuing she was not having sex.

She was treated like a “textbook example” rather than a patient, despite telling the staff the most appropriate way to position her body.

On a separate visit to hospital medics ignored her when Watkins believed she had broken her leg in several places, it wasn’t until later until doctors confirmed she had snapped five bones.

"I got a letter back to say the doctor had done everything correctly and they couldn't see any problems," she said.

"I was heartbroken, I was completely dismissed - all my feelings were dismissed."

Watkins story in one of many, a number of disabled people shared stories with BBC Wales Live after medical staff ignored their calls for help.

A man said that, during a seizure he could not control, he heard staff say he was doing it on purpose

A woman said a lack of ways to contact her surgery put her off contacting them after it recently took 339 attempts to get through on the phone line

A deaf woman claimed she had her BSL interpreters cancelled by a hospital, as they had seen her speak and so assumed she could lip-read

A woman said private tests had confirmed that new symptoms were not a part of her existing disability after NHS doctors insisted that they were

Alison Harrison, from Disability Wales, said they have heard similar stories from disabled people who have been overlooked in the healthcare service.

"As a result they say they have new impairments or conditions have worsened," she said.

"We hear so much that people are just waiting and waiting for contact and then it never coming."

A Welsh government spokesperson said: "It's very disappointing to hear these stories and we expect people with disabilities to be listened to and treated respectfully when they access NHS services.

"Our Disability Rights Taskforce is working with disabled people and organisations to make recommendations to improve the lives of disabled people in Wales."

[ Kat Watkins is now avoided seeking medical attention because of her "traumatic" past experiences. ]

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