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"My experience in A&E and ward 4 north"

About: Craigavon Area Hospital / 4 North Surgical Craigavon Area Hospital / Emergency Department

(as a staff member posting for a patient/service user),

I came into A&E on Friday night and was very disappointed with the conditions I encountered. The area was packed and over crowded and I felt so unsafe. During my wait of a long 8 hours, I was left uninformed and not updated, I felt lost in the system. I was in so much pain and yet was never offered pain relief at any point during my wait. I felt at risk of contracting covid at multiple times during my wait, as other patients around me failed to social distance. Additionally, many other patients weren't using the sanitizer dispensers. I took it upon myself to leave the main ED waiting room and head out into the main reception where I thought there was much more space to social distance. After I was eventually called to be seen, only then was I notified that that area was for suspected covid patients and that I shouldn't have been near it at all. This situation could have easily been prevented if there was better sign posts or a member of staff down in the ED telling people where they can and can't go. 

When I was eventually called in to be seen the staff were so good to me and they couldn't do enough. I saw immediately how skilled they were and I developed a bond of trust as they started to help me. After a short while I was then taken up to the  4 north ward where I am right now. The staff up here cannot do enough for me. Both medical and nursing teams do all they can to ensure I am comfortable and up to date with what's happening with regards to my care and treatment. I know I could ask the staff any question and they would get back to me with an answer as soon as they can. 

Overall the only suggestions I could make for improvements is for a better run A&E department. I think people need to be kept informed with regards to how long they will be waiting as well as what areas are safe of them to be in.


Response from Lisa Dougan, Clinical Sister Emergency Department, Acute Directorate, SHSCT 4 days ago
We are preparing to make a change
Lisa Dougan
Clinical Sister Emergency Department, Acute Directorate,
Submitted on 14/09/2021 at 14:48
Published on Care Opinion on 15/09/2021 at 11:41

picture of Lisa Dougan

Good Afternoon,

Thank you for taking the time to share your story via care opinion.

I am disappointed to read that you were unhappy with the organization of the department from the front door. As a result of the pandemic we have been experiencing a very challenging time within the Emergency department, and we constantly have to review and make changes to the system and processes. The need for these changes are identified by stories like yours, and help us to plan improvements within our department. so again I say thank you.

The waiting areas are unfortunately too small for the volume of patients that we care for, however we do ask that patients attend on their own where possible to reduce the volume of people and adhere to social distancing were possible. The main foyer is not a Respiratory waiting area so you were right to move out to that area to give you more space. I will speak to our Ward manager and put in place a plan to improve the signage within the waiting area where possible.

I will be sure to share your story with my ED colleagues to raise awareness of the importance of offering pain relief at triage and the waiting area. This certainly would have made your wait a lot more comfortable. There is a screen displaying the waiting times within the main waiting area that is updated regularly however this would not be visible from the foyer.

It certainly seems the department was extremely busy at the time of your attendance leading a long delay to be seen however it is heart warming to hear that once brought into a clinical area you were well cared for.

I hope you continue to improve on the ward and get home soon.

Kind Regards


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