" I just wanted someone to ask if I was ok."

About: Southend Hospital / Accident and emergency Southend Hospital / Urology

(as the patient),

I went to Southend Hospital in late July, in the late afternoon. I had severe back pain and sickness, which was sudden onset. By the time I reached A&E, I couldn't stand properly or even speak due to the pain. My daughter had to book me in and give all the details. We sat in the waiting room directly opposite the nurses triage room so that she could see how much pain I was in. Most of the other people sitting around us had cuts and painful limbs, so I waited as patiently as I could but the pain was excruciating. After some time, my daughter ended up going and asking how many people were in front of me, by this time it was 3 people. I was beside myself with pain and crying but trying to keep it together. Surely the nurse should have used her triage skills to see what was happening to me? I waited for 2 more people to go in. I then started being violently sick.

Shortly after, a different nurse called me into another room. Then a male nurse was trying to ask me questions but I just could not speak. I felt he was very abrupt with myself and my daughter. I am not normally a person to complain about pain but I had no ability to control it, and he was trying to make me speak when I just couldn't. Luckily a Doctor appeared and took over I think his name was Dr Griggs, He allowed my daughter to speak for me, as she had been with me since the pain started and she knew what had happened. He was very lovely, talked to me politely and explained that he thought I had a kidney stone and proceeded to sort out some pain relief.

I was eventually moved up to Chalkwell Ward/SAU where I was looked after by a very nice HCA but I didn't get her name and also a nurse called Anna Clark I think. Anna was lovely and explained what was happening and my medication and was just generally a caring lovely nurse.

I was then moved onto Eastwood Ward at 1:00am in the morning. The porter just took me to the bed and left me there. No one showed me where the call button was. I didn't find this out until the following afternoon. I got the hiccups in the middle of the night and was just sitting up in bed not knowing what to do, as I did not want to disturb the other patients and the nurses just kept walking past me and no one even asked if I was ok.

The nursing staff I met on this ward just basically ignored me. Apparently I was not one of their patients, I was told in the morning that one of my doctors would be around at some point to see me and that I would be going for a scan later. They did my obs and offered me paracetamol and that was it. They signed my sheets as if they had done all of the things on the tick sheet, but they hadn't even talked to me properly. They checked that all of their other patients were ok and were very attentive to them. Surely whatever doctors you come under you should all get the same treatment?

The only person that was nice to me was a HCA called Maryann Khan. When she came on duty in the morning she offered me some things to wash with and a toothbrush and toothpaste and a clean gown, as I had nothing of my own with me. She also tried to make sure I was ok during the day and showed me where the buzzer was when I told her no-one had shown me. I didn't end up going for my scan until 4:30pm and when I came back they said I would have to stay another night as they couldn't find one of my doctors. Then a bit later, one turned up out of the blue. He explained what was wrong and said they would send me home with some medication and a follow up appointment.

When I went to leave they said that the letter wouldn't be ready until the next day and that I couldn't have any medication. So I could go home but have no pain relief. They said that it would all be ready after 11:00am the next day.

I rang at 11:30am to be told that there was a letter but no meds. I explained what the doctor had said and that I had to have some pain relief. So they said I would have to call back after 5pm but it might not be ready till 7pm. By this time, I had lost faith and got onto the urology dept myself and asked them to locate the doctor that I had seen and ask him to make sure they gave me the right medication, which I eventually did get.

It is such a shame that I cannot write a good review, due to a few staff that just didn't seem to care, especially when the above mentioned staff were wonderful. It is scary when you have to go into hospital unexpectedly and when you are struck with an illness that you've never had before and don't know what to expect you just need to feel the staff are going to help you. I wasn't demanding or horrible, I didn't ask for anything accept to find out when I could go home. I just wanted someone to ask if I was ok.

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Response from Steve McEwen, Patient Experience Lead, Patient Liaison, Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Dear Empathy,

Many thanks for your feedback. I was truly sorry to learn of your concerns and experiences and we would like to look into these further. Whilst I will be sending your comments to the teams involved, if you would like us to undertake a fuller investigation, I would ask that you contact our complaints team on complaints@southend.nhs.uk with your details and they can commence an investigation.

I would also like to thank you for your kind words about specific staff and these will be passed on also.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards

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