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"Please don't lose the caring side that the NHS has"

About: Royal Alexandra Hospital / Accident & Emergency

(as a service user),

I attended A&E today.   I suffer from anxiety and c-ptsd,  and my anxiety is through the roof due to going to A&E.  I feel very sensitive to people's perceptions of me.

After checking in, I was asked in for my first assessment and was asked if the pain was in my abdomen.  I tried to explain that it wasn't.  Then they asked if I had been feeling unwell  and I pointed out that I had had covid which is now cleared up. They asked when I last tested. I replied that morning,  as I was all ready feeling nervous I said the test came back positive and they both started laughing.  I apologised that I got mixed up and I felt very awkward, I said at one point that I want to go home now as I felt very uncomfortable with the situation.  They said they would finish the assessment which they did,  then asked me to wait outside in the waiting area.

My husband could tell I was upset. He was trying to reassure me, I was saying that I felt stupid and felt like I was wasting their time.

After a very long wait which I don't mind as I know that other emergencies come in, I was taken to a room.  The nurse was lovely and caring took my blood pressure and heart rate.  She asked if I have high blood pressure I said no, then she also pointed out that my heart rate was high.  She then said that she would get me a cup of water and a bowl for to get a sample.

Not long after that the doctor came in, asking me what was wrong. I explained my symptoms saying that it had started about a month ago, but I never thought much of it.  However in the past couple of days it has spread and felt painful to touch and it feels right on my skin.   They asked about other pain, and said that if it had started a month ago I should have gone to my doctor.  I said it only really started to bother me the past couple of days.  They are probably right however to try and get a doctor appointment is near impossible and you can wait weeks.

But for me it's not what you say it's how you say it.  I really felt like I had just wasted the NHS' time. The doctor left at this point and came back fairly quickly, saying they were going to speak to their boss.  The advice to me was to persevere and keep phoning my doctor until I get an appointment.

My anxiety at this time is high sky. All sorts of things going through my head, I felt stupid and a waste of time, something I have been made to feel all my life. I was that upset that I never waited for the doctor to return, I just had to get out of there. I felt really embarrassed and stupid. I truly feel I wouldn't go to A&E if I felt I was wasting their  time, for that I apologise unreservedly. However I am in pain with what I have. 

I think that the NHS does a fantastic job, and are totally aware that they are under a lot of stress due to the pandemic, and trying to keep within the allocated waiting time. I also work in care, I personally feel that if you can't show empathy and caring towards people then don't work in the caring profession.

I hope and feel that I am the type of person who would not go to hospital unnecessary. 

I have been crying and upset since coming home from A&E. I just feel that even in my place of work in care if I am having a busy/bad day, I always have time to listen and have empathy for my clients/patient. Please don't lose that caring side that the NHS has. If you can be anything in this world, be kind.  You don't know how someone is feeling or has been through in their life and how your actions affect them. I suppose the same could be said to me.

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Response from Nicole McInally, Patient Experience and Public Involvement Project Manager, PEPI, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde last month
Nicole McInally
Patient Experience and Public Involvement Project Manager, PEPI,
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde
Submitted on 06/07/2022 at 13:11
Published on Care Opinion at 13:11

picture of Nicole McInally

Dear Sandibob

I was very sorry to read about your experience at A&E and I apologise for the additional upset and distress this has caused you. This is not the standard of care that we strive to deliver. I have shared your story with the A&E Team so that we can learn from your experience and improve our service. If you would like to discuss this further can you please contact my colleague, Paul Hendry, Clinical Services Manager on via telephone 07817705701 or email

I hope you are feeling better.

Take Care


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