"Yawning wait in A&E Leighton"

About: Leighton Hospital / Accident and emergency

(as the patient),

Arrived at Leighton A&E at 8.30pm with non urgent chest injury. Saw triage nurse at 9.15pm. Sat and waited until 11.45pm.

Asked how long likely to be: advised we were next to be seen, sat and waited, and waited, and waited while A&E emptied.

01.05am: asked how long till we might be seen. Advised, you're next.

01.30am: told to go into "Major Unit".

A full 5 hour wait...seen by doctor & out 20 mins later. No information about waiting times given. The "Time waiting" display board was dated the previous week and was blank. No complaints proceedure displayed. No info avaliable.

Had we known we had to wait so long we would have gone home and taken our chances. Thank you NHS Leighton for a lovely evening, home by 3am and up at 6.30.

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Response from Sue Pickup, Patient Experience Manager, Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

We apologise that this patient had a longer than expected wait in the department before he was seen by a doctor. However, we would like to reassure patients that Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust does meet the government’s target that 98% of patients are seen and treated within four hours. The Trust is currently experiencing a high level of patients coming into Leighton Hospital who could perhaps be using alternative services to those provide in A&E. The number of people turning up at the Emergency Department, who could have perhaps gone to their local pharmacist, minor injuries unit or visited their GP, means the Hospital has been exceptionally busy, resulting in longer than average waits for some patients. Our records confirm the patient arrived at 20.24 hrs and was seen by the Triage Nurse at 20.55hrs. She assessed the patient's injuries and identified that he did not need to see a doctor urgently. On the evening which he attended, the Department was very busy and a number of poorly patients who had to be seen as a priority. We would ask that patients only go to A&E if they need emergency attention for a serious medical condition. The doctors and nurses there are equipped to deal with serious emergency cases of injury and illness, not routine or minor ailments. Turning up at A&E will not mean you are seen more quickly, as staff will simply prioritise the most serious cases. While this may mean that some patients will have to travel slightly further to get treatment, it is important to remember that the Emergency Department is designed to treat emergency patients. These include: · loss of consciousness · severe chest pain · severe breathing difficulty · suspected broken bones · heavy bleeding · deep wounds (e.g. stab wounds) · swallowing something harmful or poisonous, drug overdose. Alternative services include: Local Out of Hours GP service After 6.30pm, please call 01270 273666. Otherwise, call your usual GP surgery’s number. The Minor Injuries Unit at the Victoria Infirmary, Northwich The Minor Injuries Unit is a nurse-led walk in centre, which sees and treats approximately 20,000 patients per year. The department is open daily from 9am - 10pm including weekends and bank holidays. Call 01606 564040 to speak to someone at the Unit for advice. Self Care You can treat many minor illnesses yourself without needing to consult a doctor or nurse. A well-stocked medicine cabinet and first aid kit can help with a range of minor problems, including stomach upsets, colds, and grazes. Pharmacy Pharmacists have a high level of medical knowledge and training, and can advise you on appropriate treatments. They can help with many problems including stomach upsets, aches and pains, viruses, allergies, coughs and colds. They can also signpost you to other services. NHS Direct If you feel ill and are unsure what to do, contact NHS Direct, available 24 hours a day, on 0845 46 47. NHS Direct is a confidential, nurse-led telephone advice and treatment service which provides information on local NHS services. You can also click on www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk for advice about your symptoms. This is a comprehensive website with a wide range of information about many different illnesses as well as links to other useful sources of information. The Trust apologises that the information board in the Emergency Department was not up to date and that no advice leaflets on how to make a complaint were available. Staff will be reminded to ensure the information board is regularly updated and complaint leaflets have been placed in the waiting areas.
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