"Wonderful staff, terrible system"

About: The Royal Victoria Infirmary

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The healthcare professionals who all saw me were excellent. All were attentive, thorough and explained all of the procedure clearly. My complaint is directed instead at the management of A&E and above - I entered the hospital at 3pm via ambulance and only left by 11pm, spending at most an hour of that time receiving healthcare and the rest of my time waiting with a damaged arm that was seizing up. I understand completely that I was a minor injury case and that more urgent patients will always be of more importance - I was more appalled at the inefficiency of the entire process. I don't know why I had to wait so long but I can only assume it was not due to the medical staff themselves, more a lack of them working that day. My maxillofacial surgeon was wonderfully relaxed and methodical. My doctor was rushed but also methodical, caring and not patronising. Both had superb bedside manner. Perhaps I'm being naive and expecting too much of a free health service (ignoring indirect payment via taxes) but after having waited for five hours after being checked over I was ready to ask for a mirror and a set of sutures myself. I'd be more than happy to be contacted to provide further feedback or assistance in lobbying for more resources for the department. One last thing: for anyone who was considering using their face as a means of braking I'd strongly advise against it.

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Response from The Royal Victoria Infirmary

Thank you for your positive comments regarding the staff you came in contact with during your recent attendance to the Emergency Department at the Royal Victoria Infirmary. We apologise that you experienced an increased waiting time to be seen. We aim to ensure that all patients receive an initial medical assessment in a prompt and timely manner. The increased waiting time you experienced was due to the number of patients attending the Emergency Department with more urgent clinical conditions. All patients presenting to the Emergency Department are triaged according to their clinical needs. I would wish to reassure you the department was fully staff by our medical and nursing teams. It is evident from your records that following initial medical assessment and x-ray images being taken that you were then referred for assessment and treatment by the maxillo facial team. Any further wait was again due to other patients requiring their attention. Thank you again for your comments and bringing your experience to our attention. If you feel that you would like to discuss this further, or would like any further information regarding your care and treatment in the Emergency Department, please contact Matron McNab on 0191 233 6161.

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