"My experience of A&E"

About: Epsom Hospital

Anything else?

I attended A&E Sat 7th Sept following advice from calling NHS 111.as I was having palpitations. I was told Epsom would be notified of my incoming arrival but they were not & was told at A&E they never do notify them! On arrival the waiting area was empty, but the receptionist who saw me arrive took several minutes to come & speak to me, continuing to sort papers out. No friendly "hello, be with you in a minute" or equivalent. Not very engaging at all, how are you or anything, assuming most people don't turn up on their own at 2am for nothing! When I sat down to wait to be called in, I noticed there was a melting pack of frozen peas on the little table next to me. A little surprised I mentioned it to the receptionist who looked & then said "I expect whoever left them will be back in to collect them soon". I would have thought more likely they had been treated & gone home? When the Sister came to call me in, she like I had noticed a trail of dried blood on the floor. She asked the receptionist to dial a number to get it cleaned. My time being assessed & treated was fine, if a little slow. I was not offered a drink, even water after it was clear I would be able to go home. But I had good explanations & reassurance from the Dr. I was discharged around 6am for follow up from my GP. On leaving the department I asked the receptionist for a local taxi number which I was given, I had to wait an hour for one to come, waiting in the area as I was cold & tired & thirsty. The place was empty, no-one else there but she didn't speak to me once or even offer a cup of tea? Fine if she was busy, but where is the user friendly environment? Also, the bag of frozen peas was still on the table with a pool of water around it and the dried blood was still on the floor. Not cleaned & neither had the Sister followed it up to check her instructions had been followed through. This I find unacceptable, it may be excused when a dept. is busy, although it still needs addressing, but when it is quiet there is no excuse. I am a nurse myself & worked in the NHS for over 20years including a stint in A&E. I am passionate about the NHS & maintaining & improving standards. This does not create a good impression & was so easy to sort out at no cost. Just people doing the job they are paid to do. Reception is a vital first experience for those coming to A&E, those attending are usually anxious & worried & possibly very ill. It needs to be seen as providing excellent customer service, just as you would expect in a shop, not ambivalence with no consequences as you don't need to encourage customers to come back & 'spend'. Disappointing!!

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Response from Epsom Hospital

Thank you for your feedback and we are pleased your treatment went well. However, your concerns about a welcoming environment are very important to us, and we'll be sure to pick this up with the department. We will ensure this vital feedback gets relayed back to A&E staff and the reception. Pippa Hart Director of Nursing

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