"East Surrey A&E"

About: East Surrey Hospital / Accident and emergency

(as the patient),

The reception set up at the ED is not good to say the least. I personally had a torn calf and limped in to reception. The first thing to greet patients is a large red line painted on the floor 'do not cross until called'. The other side of the line is a plastic surround with receptionists behind looking at computers, none of whom seems to look at you or say anything. After a while, another receptionist appears with hot drinks and hands them out to colleagues. Once she is settled, I am called forward. I am asked "how can I help? " "I have a problem with my leg" "okay....what’s your name, dob? " I respond...then told "please take a seat". I did not get a chance to tell them about the injury or how much pain I was in.

The please take a seat tuned into over a 2 hour wait, with nobody checking if I was comfortable. Furthermore people entering after me were seen before. One of these patients I know was there for slight toothache and could not get in to see a dentist as I had spoken to him. I believe he was as surprised as I was to be called in before me having arrived after me.

Surely what the ED needs is a nurse at the entrance making a very quick assessment? It would then be easy to separate those most in need or in most pain. Also why not take the receptionists away from behind those desks and have them come around with tablet computers to book you in and check if you are comfortable? For those less mobile maybe offer a drink of water? Then being kept informed of when you are likely to be seen would be a very welcome thing. Just a little bit of care is what’s needed…just a little bit.

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Response from Tasha Gardner, Communications Manager, Marketing and Communications, Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust

Dear dmettoca

Many thanks for taking the time to post your comments about your experience in ED. I have passed these on to the matron in charge of the department who will respond to your comments.

kind regards

  • {{helpful}} {{helpful == 1 ? "person thinks" : "people think"}} this response is helpful

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