"My Partner and I visited the A&E ..."

About: University Hospital Of North Durham

(as a relative),

What could be improved

My Partner and I visited the A&E Dept. at approximately 6.20pm on Fri. 16/05/08. The pain in her left elbow was so severe it made her cry and she is used to pain with the various medical conditions she suffers from.

After being given pain killers in the waiting room before being called for treatment she was put into a treatment room at approx. 7.00pm where she waited in severe pain a further 35 mins. to see a Doctor. She was asked a lot of questions and given an X-ray which didn't show up anything obvious.

During all this time she was in severe pain and was very upset. The Doctor who examined her seemed very inexperienced and constantly repeated herself not knowing what to do. She even asked what we wanted her to do which didn't give us much confidence in the whole process at all. She was eventually give liquid Morphine and left in the treatment room a further 20 mins.

We felt the need to leave and go home as nothing really constructive was being done. My partner went to the Nurses Station and asked if she could now leave but was told to wait. After asking if it would be much longer the Nurse she spoke to replied 'I'll ask the Doctor WHEN I see her', she made the emphasis on when! Her general attitude did not reflect on the caring and understanding you would expect a Nurse to show. At least two of the Nurses we had contact with showed no compassion whatsoever.

The only people who acted in a Professional and caring manner were the Receptionist, Radiologist and Doctor although she was definately unsure of herself.

It's no wonder that you have to have signs around the Hospital warning people of the consequences of abusive and threatening behaviour. When so called Nursing Professionals act with indifference what kind of response do they expect from certain people.

Although upset by the whole experience we maintained our dignity and decided to leave the premises regardless. I regret that I have felt the need to have to complain in this manner but feel I had no choice after the experience we endured.

Story from NHS Choices

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