"The single worst experience of my life !"

About: Medway Maritime Hospital

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Went in 3 weeks ago with chest pains. Drove myself in, reluctant to call an Ambulance. When I arrived, I went into A+E waiting room to be crammed in like cattle amongst drunks and various others. I was then forced to wait 40 mins before being seen to, despite constantly asking the receptionist how long it would be and telling her the pain was getting worse. I was told to "wait patiently until its my turn". When I was seen the nurse took my pulse and my details before getting a doctor to come and speak to me. The doctor then done an ECG and discovered I was in fact having a heart attack. They took me out the back and gave me medication, with about 10 people around me. They then made the decision to take me to a specialist hospital. The ambulance was already waiting and got me to the hospital in about 30 mins. There I had an emergency angioplasty... saving my life ! However why was I made to wait 40 mins before being seen when I arrived. Surely I should have been seen to immediately as if I had come in by ambulance. The doctors at Ashford the hospital I was taken to said I was probably a few minutes away from Cardiac arrest, which my survival chances would have been slim to say the least. I think I was lucky, others might not be with this critical delay in treatment. Avoid this hospital at all costs !

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Response from Suzanne Brooker, Head of Patient Experience, Medway NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for your feedback.

I was sorry to read of your poor experience in the A and E department and the long wait before being seen, please accept my apologies.

I hope you are recovering well.

The A and E department is currently being reviewed in terms of the environment and how improvements can be made to ensure patients are seen and treated in a safe and timely manner.

If you would like to discuss your concerns further then please contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service {PALS} who will be happy to help.

The Pals Team can be contacted between the hours of 9am - 5pm, Monday to Friday on 01634 830000 ex5793 or 01634 825004

Thank you for bringing this to our attention so that we can make a difference.

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Response from Medway Maritime Hospital

I am very sorry and concerned to hear about your experience. I would like to discuss the matter with you in more depth to gather more information and then establish how and why this happened, preventing it from happening again. I would encourage you to contact me. Inmaculada Diaz Alonso Emergency Department, Clinical Lead Email: inmaculada.diaz-alonso@medway.nhs.uk Phone: 01634 830000 x3847

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