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"The bed situation in A&E and AMU"

About: Craigavon Area Hospital / Acute Medical Unit (AMU) Craigavon Area Hospital / Emergency Department

(as a service user),

I came into hospital 2 weeks ago via A&E through recommendation from my GP who had found antibiotic resistance in my sputum samples. After my GP spoke to microbiology it was decided that I should attend A&E to be entered into the system. Communication between my GP and I was first class and I felt listened to and involved in decisions surrounding my care which meant that I felt much happier to attend the emergency department. 

When I arrived at A&E I was triaged quite quickly. The medical and nursing team knew what they needed to do to treat me but there were no beds on any ward for me in access. I was put on a trolley and into a side room where staff still did their best to communicate with me and treat me as best they could but I didn't feel this location or trolley was suitable to meet my needs. As a disabled person, I need use of an electric wheel chair to get around, after being put onto the trolley I needed to wait 24 hours before a bed was going to become available. Although I addressed this to the staff and they were so apologetic, they couldn't do anything more for me. In my opinion the emergency department is under resourced in every element and even through I was being treated I felt so uncomfortable and a loss of dignity. I know none of this was a fault of any of the staff are they were all doing an outstanding job and I cannot fault any element of their care, its just a lacking in facilities which is feel is becoming the 'norm' within the NHS. 

Eventually after 24 hours in the trolley I was moved to AMU. During the long 24 hour wait, as no beds were available on any wards, I almost felt guilty to be holding a bed in A&E when so many other patients in the waiting room didn't even have a chance to be seen. This being on my conscience really didn't help during the wait. 

In the AMU the staff have been brilliant, all my questions so far have been answered and I feel much more comfortable in my surroundings. I am so much happier with my ward space and know that I am becoming more clinically well everyday. I really enjoy the time I get to spend with the medical team during their rounds as I feel all my questions are answered and I am kept up to date with regards my care. 

Overall the only improvements I could suggest would be the bed situation in A&E, something seriously has to be done! None of the staff I encountered can be faulted and I am grateful for their care, skills and professionalism. 


Response from Lisa Dougan, Clinical Sister Emergency Department, Acute Directorate, SHSCT last week
Lisa Dougan
Clinical Sister Emergency Department, Acute Directorate,
Submitted on 15/09/2021 at 20:30
Published on Care Opinion at 20:30

picture of Lisa Dougan

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

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your understanding surrounding the current pressures that face the health service and especially the Emergency Departments. The doctors and nurses do everything they can to make the most of their time and space, however, as you quite rightly said, we just do not have capacity to care for the volume of patients that come through the door needing our help and ultimately a bed on a ward.

I will be sure to share your story with my colleagues, to say thank you to them on your behalf. Every little bit of encouragement is such a morale booster, knowing that we are appreciated.

Sending you well wishes,


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