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"I was told to take a seat in the same area as everyone else"

About: Craigavon Area Hospital / Emergency Department

(as the patient),

Following medical advice I was asked to check in at Craigavon A@E.

I immediately informed them i was Covid positive and thought I would be placed in an isolation area and fast tracked to reduce any chance of transmission to other patients. 

Instead, I was told to take a seat in the same waiting area as everyone else. I double checked this. 

      After registration I tried to distance myself from other patients resorting to telling them I was Covid positive. I found the whole experience embarrassing, I was coughing and afraid of spreading this disease among the other patients . I had to tell two ladies who pushed their vulnerable eldery mothers too close to me that I had Covid. There was no other way.

 I shouldn’t have had to explain to other patients I was Covid positive in an environment which prides itself on confidentially but felt I had to try and keep them safe.

Not once during my stay in A@E did I see anyone disinfect anything. 

Finally after various tests and a chest x-ray I was prescribed with an antibiotic and was told, wait for it,  

To go home and self isolate. 

Wow !

I just spent seven hours, in a hospital, were my Covid19 was taken with no concern at all and I'm told to isolate when I got back home..

How many people could I have infected during my stay?

 Even if one got infected through sitting were i sat is unforgivable. Multiply that by how many Covid patients go through A@E and the numbers could be mind boggling.

I live in the country, I could go for a walk, if I was fit too, and meet no-one.

Instead I'm locked away in my bedroom, food placed outside my door, no contact with loved ones and use my phone mostly to text them as talking can be difficult.

This is a small price to pay to ensure I do not infect my wife or children, when you consider what price some people have already paid.

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Responses

Response from Paul Smyth, Acting Head of Service Emergency Departments & Medicine, Acute & Emergency Medicine, Southern Health & Social Care Trust 8 months ago
We are preparing to make a change
Paul Smyth
Acting Head of Service Emergency Departments & Medicine, Acute & Emergency Medicine,
Southern Health & Social Care Trust
Submitted on 31/03/2021 at 17:33
Published on Care Opinion on 01/04/2021 at 09:58


Good afternoon

Thank you so much for taking the time to share you recent experience within the Emergency Department in Craigavon Area Hospital. I am sorry to read about the experience that you had.

The emergency department has a system whereby patients who are covid positive are placed in the main waiting room beside the emergency department reception and patients who have tested negative for covid are asked to wait in a separate waiting area in the main hospital foyer.

We test patients who attend the emergency department for covid after they register at reception (with the exception of children and patients who present with minor injuries). This test result which is available usually within 20 minutes helps the staff with this segregation. We also ask all people who attend to wear a fluid shield mask and we provide them for people who do not come with one. We have signage urging people to maintain safe distancing and have arranged the seating in the waiting areas to facilitate this.

Thankfully the numbers of people attending the emergency department who test positive for covid in the last few weeks is extremely low but we are not complacent. You should have been directed to the covid waiting area and people attending who were covid negative should not be in this waiting area. I will review how our segregation is working with the ward sister to see if we can improve and enhance its efficiency.

I hope that you are keeping okay.

Regards

Paul Smyth

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Response from Paul Smyth, Acting Head of Service Emergency Departments & Medicine, Acute & Emergency Medicine, Southern Health & Social Care Trust 7 months ago
We are preparing to make a change
Paul Smyth
Acting Head of Service Emergency Departments & Medicine, Acute & Emergency Medicine,
Southern Health & Social Care Trust
Submitted on 05/05/2021 at 12:31
Published on Care Opinion at 14:57


Good Morning Mercarri, I just wanted to post a further update in relation to the review of seating arrangements in our Emergency Department.

The waiting area for people who attend Craigavon Hospital Emergency Department is being enlarged to create more space for safe distancing. This estate work was quite considerable and involved moving the main reception base to another part of the hospital main foyer. This work has taken longer than expected and we would hope to have this work completed by the end of May.

I hope you are keeping well

Kind Regards

Paul Smyth

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