"I thought our values were important"

About: Hillingdon Hospital / Accident and emergency

(as a staff member),

Disappointed mum, horrified patient and sad nurse, this is exactly how I am feeling…

Almost a week ago, we had to go to the A&E department at the Hillingdon hospital. My 3 year old daughter had a fall while she was having her birthday party, and bumped her head to a sharp corner on the kitchen. As a mum the first 30 seconds I panicked and grabbed my little one to see how bad it was, then I luckily reacted as the experienced nurse I am and I tried to stopped the bleeding, evaluate the damage and organise a plan. So, we took her to the nearest hospital, the Hillingdon hospital.

As soon as we arrived there we gave the details to the reception team and they send us to see someone in triage who will decide the severity of the accident… in that room was when everything started going wrong, the nurse who saw us decided what my daughter had was just a cut, and she just need some glue, and the specialist nurse will do it as soon as they were free… after not letting me explain much, they applied a plaster on the nasty cut and send us outside to wait with the rest of the adults in the waiting area. Obviously I didn’t agree with the decision, I was sure my daughter will need stitches for sure as I have seen this cases before after working few years in A&E myself. I explained the bleeding, how it happened but this person didn’t look at me, the only thing they kept telling me I was nervous and anxious and not clear on my thoughts, they were very patronising and not listening. 

After that they kept us waiting in the main big area for 2 hours, then they moved us to a smaller area where we suppose to be seen by someone else, but for 2 more hours we wait there with other people who were sick, vomiting in big bowls and in a lot of pain. After almost 4 hours of total waiting a nurse called us and as soon as they saw the cut they said they couldn’t anything as it had to be seen by the plastic surgeon as she needed stitches under sedation in theatres as the bone was exposed!!! (what a surprise!) I was furious! The Hillingdon hospital doesn’t have a plastic surgeon on call so we were sent to see a plastic surgeon the following morning at the Chelsea and Westminster hospital. So at 11:30pm we were sent home to go to be admitted the following morning… We left the hospital on tears and deeply frustrated.

So, this is my story, could someone tell me why they kept us for 3 hours in the adult waiting area, is that the protocol for a 3 year old with an open wound, hanging around in a hospital surrounded by sick people? I do understand the result may have been the same, us going to see the plastic surgeon at the Chelsea and Westminster hospital, but the accident happen at 6.30pm on that day, could we not have send us early to see the specialist in the proper hospital?

All of this made me a disappointed mum and a horrified patient but the way they treat us, how the nurse in triage didn’t listen to me, or support me or assess the wound properly, how they talk to us, how each person washed their hands telling us it is the beginning of their shift or not even looking to our eyes when we ask how can they keep a 3 year old waiting that long with open wound, the lack of humanity and empathy, that was make me a really sad nurse a very discouraged nurse working on that hospital where i thought our values were important, there was no compassionate care, no Communication, Attitude, Responsibility, Equity and Safety on any of those nurses and admin staff who treat my daughter and myself on that day.