"A sobering experience - I wish I could..."

About: Royal Stoke University Hospital

What I liked

Once you get out of the A&E waiting room, the staff seem to genuinely try to help

What could be improved

The A&E waiting room was an education. We arrived around 7pm - my husband was experiencing tightness to his chest and sweating and we were very concerned as he had had a previous history of heart trouble.

We weren't triaged until 9.30pm when my husband had an ECG and then sent back into the waiting room until 11.20pm when we were called into Urgent Care. My husband was told he needed to stay overnight, but there were no beds so he had to remain in the trolley. The doctor tried to take blood out of his hand and the blood spurted all over the floor. This was roughly wiped over and the blood stains were still there in the morning when he was eventually taken up to a ward about 11am. The nurse eventually took another blood sample as the first one was congealed. He didn't sleep much because of the sounds of the intercom.

When we arrived in AMU it was like a war zone - patients in trolleys in the corridors and all beds full. We were placed in the waiting area for assessment and after an hour or so I politely asked when we would be seen and was told that his name wasn't on the board and they were unaware he was there. The nurses were genuinely concerned and trying to help but they were so busy they were running about like headless chickens. One very kindly brought us both a (stale) sandwich and a drink as it was about 3.00pm and we hadn't had any lunch. We eventually saw a doctor about 4.00pm.

All in all a very sobering experience. If there was the facility to pay for a private A&E service I would seriously consider it, We were there 20 hours before we saw a specialist in cardiac patients.

Anything else?

If the Fit for the Future hospital has even less beds then heaven help us

Story from nhs.uk