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"14 hrs, 6 Drs to be told to come back on..."

About: East Surrey Hospital

What I liked

Very little. One or two individuals stood out for their cheerful, caring attitude but only because this was not the norm.

What could be improved

Focus, attention to the needs of the patient, communication, more care and sensitivity.

Anything else?

A visit with my daughter to A & E on Sat 5th Mar proved to be a nightmare of nearly 14 hrs. Having examined my daughter, the doctor sent us with a referral letter to see a Gynae for acute pain in the lower abdomen, possible ectopic pregnancy. We arrived at 1pm in the Rapid Assessment Unit where we handed in the referral letter to Reception. An hour later after other people who had arrived after us were being seen, we enquired why we were not, to be told they couldn't find the notes - the nurse who had picked up our notes to see us had "been sidetracked" not for any medical reason which we could have understood! Also waiting was an elderly gentleman, clearly in terrible pain in his hip area from a fall, unable to move his leg, left sitting in a chair instead of being put on a trolley, while people who clearly had more minor ailments were sitting on a trolley; he was shivering with cold & appeared to be in shock; he was not even offered a blanket! Once transferred to the emergency unit my daughter had bloods taken and during the next 5 hours 3 Drs examined her & each asked her the same questions before finally being taken to SAU for yet another wait for an identical 5 min exam at which point we were told she needed to see a Gynae - the very reason we had been referred in the first place!! All these exams were intended apparently to rule out appendicitis though why it took 4 Drs repeating the same exam to determine that baffles me especially as her history & the site of the pain pointed more to a gynae problem! Throughout this time the communication was appalling. Test results were not given to us unless we went and asked for them and there were long periods when we felt entirely invisible. After another very long wait we eventually saw the Junior Gynae followed by her Registrar who told us 2 completely different things but the final result was that a scan was needed which could not be done at the weekend so we were to go home with painkillers - it was now 2.30 am!! logo


Response from East Surrey Hospital 10 years ago
East Surrey Hospital
Submitted on 29/03/2011 at 12:15
Published on on 17/04/2011 at 10:51

Thank you for taking the time to comment on your experience at East Surrey Hospital. We're sorry you had such a dreadful experience, which is not the normal experience of the vast majority of our patients. We would very much like to investigate what went wrong and would urge you to contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) which is available to listen to concerns, suggestions or queries and can help sort out problems quickly on your behalf. You can contact PALS by telephone on 01737 231958, email:, or by writing to: PALS, East Surrey Hospital, Canada Avenue, Redhill, Surrey RH1 5RH.

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