"A&E - long wait, nice staff but not enough of them."

About: Harrogate District Hospital / Accident and emergency

(as the patient),

Attended A&E at Harrogate DH following a fall and suspected fractured ankle. The wait time was 2 hours.

It was irritating to see that some patients clearly did not have either accident or emergency that required their attendance at A&E. They should have gone to a GP. This makes waiting worse. One couple walked in - said "I'm not waiting 2 hours" and left.

The nurse was really nice - given pain relief straight away, prioritised, but this made no difference to queue in A&E Xray. The fracture was confirmed. Then had an hour wait left in the plaster room for a nurse to do plaster. The room was filthy and disorganised.

There were not enough staff on duty. This A&E needs more nursing staff on duty. The medic was kind - explained what had broken.

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Response from Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for your feedback, which is very valuable to us.

The Emergency Department has to prioritise cases based on clinical need, especially at busy times. Unfortunately, this can mean a wait for some patients, though the Trust is meeting the national target that no more than 5% of patients should wait longer than 4 hours to be seen.

We do encourage patients to use alternatives to the Emergency Department where possible, as we know that visiting A&E unnecessarily increases waiting times for others. Posters are displayed around the entrance to Harrogate District Hospital with information on other sources of advice, such as NHS111 or a GP. There is also information on the Trust's website.

I am pleased to learn that you found the attitude of our staff to be helpful and friendly, but am sorry that you did not feel the plaster room met our standards of high quality. I will pass your comments on so that we can take any necessary steps to improve this.

Thank you again for taking the time to let us know your thoughts on our service.

Chris Watt, Head of Communications, Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust

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