"My unexpected first ever stay in hospital"

About: Craigavon Area Hospital / Emergency Department Craigavon Area Hospital / General Surgery

(as the patient),

I went into A&E at 7:30pm Tuesday and watched (uncomfortably on those wooden seats) as Doctors and nurses worked relentlessly at trying to get through the completely full Emergency Department that seemed to never empty (the seat infront was broken hence being empty but every other one was filled). People had been there with emergency GP referrals which didn’t even fast track them as they sat alongside me as we went into the 10/12/15th hour of waiting... People literally left in tears because they were in so much pain and simply could not bear the wait any longer.

10am Wednesday morning, my name was finally called... trust me, I didn’t know I had the patience either lol. 

Although my time lasted until the Friday evening after being admitted (I am okay now, but this isn’t the purpose of this post) which I totally was not expecting, I cannot commend the doctors and nurses enough! Because once you go through that door, the game changes... I said thank you to every one of these people at the time but thank you just didn’t seem a big enough way of showing my gratitude. 

- To the doctor that seen me in A&E that knew something was definitely wrong and called the surgeon to check me out too. 

- To the surgeon who also double checked me and recommended I stayed to get a procedure done or else I’d have to wait 2/3 months for it to happen. 

- To the nurse in CDU who realised that I had been awake all night (being 2pm now) and immediately found a bed for me to lie down and sleep. You have no idea how significant this was, THANK YOU! 

- To the nurse that came and hugged me and wiped away my tears when I totally freaked out going into theatre 

- To everyone in theatre who explained everything and calmed me down before starting. 

- To the doctor and nurses in Recovery who again reassured me and chatted to me even though they had 100 things going on around them and clearly under staffed 

- To the nursing student in 4 South that literally made me (and my fellow roomies) laugh and smile so much , you will make an excellent nurse! 

- To the two different nurses (one in A&E and one in 4 South) that took my blood. I hate needles and really don’t like it being done but these nurses were excellent, in and out before I could even pull a face! And didn’t tell me I should be used to it because I had a tattoo like other nurses do! 

- To my fellow roomies (in both wards) for chatting and making it a little less lonely in there and also taking the mick out of mine and their own illnesses, because if you didn’t laugh, you’d cry in the words of one of them.

- To my amazing friends and family who came to visit, even those I didn’t expect, it meant so much! 

Some of these people won’t remember me because I was only one in million as they endeavoured to see everyone. But when you are in hospital you don’t have very much to do (after your phone dies) but to sit and watch and observe. These people are absolute heroes and I cannot thank them enough! Sitting in an A&E I was probably calling them all sorts but they really are remarkable! 

I can only imagine what that place is like because of recent events with Coronavirus. These doctors and nurses are heroes, remind them of this if you find yourself in there (I really hope you don’t though). 

Our doctors and nurses deserve more. I pray for more for them, for our health service, for our country, for this world. 

This wasn’t a post to gain sympathy for myself (for those concerned, I am on the mend now), or scrutinise our health service but to highlight how amazing our doctors and nurses are, even in the small things! 🌟


Response from Mairead Casey, Patient Client Experience & 10,000 Voices Facilitator, Patient Client Experience, SHSCT 6 months ago
Mairead Casey
Patient Client Experience & 10,000 Voices Facilitator, Patient Client Experience,

Patient Client Experience & 10,000 Voices Facilitator for Southern Health and Social Services Trust.

Submitted on 19/03/2020 at 17:01
Published on Care Opinion on 20/03/2020 at 08:55

picture of Mairead Casey

My name is Mairead and I am one of the facilitators for the implementation of Care Opinion within the Southern Health and Social Care Trust. Thank you so much for taking the time to leave feedback about your recent experiences in our Emergency Department and Surgical ward. We really value hearing about how our services are being delivered.

Care Opinion is still at implementation phase within Northern Ireland, however as one of the Care Opinion Facilitators within Southern Trust, I will ensure that your feedback is provided to the right staff in both areas which will enable the departments to respond to you here as soon as possible.

Kind regards

Mairead Casey

Patient and Client Experience/10,000 More Voices Facilitator

Southern Health and Social Services Trust

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Response from Christine Armstrong, Care Opinion Facilitator, Patient Experience, SHSCT 5 months ago
Christine Armstrong
Care Opinion Facilitator, Patient Experience,
Submitted on 29/03/2020 at 22:17
Published on Care Opinion on 30/03/2020 at 09:03

picture of Christine Armstrong

My name is Christine Armstrong, I am one of the Trust Facilitators for Care Opinion. I am responding to your story on behalf of the staff who looked after you during your recent hospital admission as all of our staff are currently under increased pressure at this time due to the outbreak of COVID 19.

Firstly I would like to thank you for taking the time to tell us in so much detail about your recent experience and to commend individual staff who cared for you throughout your stay with us. It is always so encouraging for our staff to receive feedback like this, particularly at this time of added pressures and challenges. I will certainly ensure that all the staff concerned receive this feedback as well as their management teams.

Secondly, I am sorry that you experienced a long wait in the Emergency Department and can assure you that the Trust constantly reviews and looks at ways to reduce waiting times for patients who attend our Emergency Departments. We will also take into account the issues that you raised in relation to the seating in our Emergency Department.

I trust you are now feeling better and that you will stay well during this difficult time

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