"A&E for pregnancy bleeding - woefully inadequate..."

About: Wexham Park Hospital

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Visited Wexham Park A&E at 12 weeks pregnant following bleeding. On arrival, service at reception slow, but fairly tactful and sensitive. Triage nurse very efficient and compassionate. Sent me for blood tests and had a 'line' put in without explanation why. When challenging the lady who took the bloods I asked if I really needed the 'line' and she just said "the nurse told me I had to put it in". Then waited for 2.5 hours with an uncomfortable needle in my arm to be seen. When I chased progress with reception was met with a rebuff "not my job to chase - contact the triage nurse." This was difficult as the triage nurse was constantly attending patients. Was eventually called by an A&E gynae doctor. First impression was that she was rather aloof and I was an inconvenience to her. She did not introduce herself or tell me her role. After 45 mins of waiting in the cubicle and only 10 mins of consultation time, I was told there was not much she could do, she had arranged a scan for monday and i would have to wait around the hospital for the test results. I had to prompt her for her name at this point. Key issues - costly waste of resources putting in a blood line which was not required - "can't do" attitude from reception staff - lack of process/procedure explanation or setting expectations on how long the doctor would be away, leaving me alone in a cubicle - failure to introduce herself to me and give me confidence I was in safe hands - very basic - when giving commencing tests or providing test results back to me, an inability to convey them in simple laymans terms - lack of a sense of urgency from any staff - was left waiting for results until I got a friendly receptionist from the gynae department to track down the doctor and chase the result - lack of ability to keep patients up to date on the status of their treatment - e.g. telling me "I've chased your test results, they are still not back but i am chasing them"; instead I was just abandoned - significantly - the lack of a common sense approach - after leaving truly frustrated 4 hours later with more questions than answers, I ended up contacting Wycombe birth centre, where the excellent midwife said "pop in and I'll have a listen for a heartbeat." Had the doctor had the nouse to do this immediately with a cheap, simple, battery powered hand-held tool, I would have been a much more reassured patient and vital costs would have been saved by reducing tests. It appears she was very intelligent but no common sense. Could this be a test completed by the triage nurse/nurse practitioner at first point of contact, reducing wait time for patients and costs for cash strapped hospital? - finally, the importance of creating a positive first impressions - first impressions are made in 7 seconds. Unfortunately, mine was of a chaotic operation made up of lots of little silos, with aloof staff who lack a common-sense approach to deliver effective patient care.

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Response from Wexham Park Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to tell us about your experience. It is clear from your attendance that the communication was not as good as it could have been and this led you to lack confidence in what was being said and done. We would be happy to look into this in more detail and reply to you. If you would like us to, please contact our Patient Relations team on 01753 634081, via email patientrelations@hwph-tr.nhs.uk or via post by addressing your letter to Wexham Park Hospital, Wexham Street, Slough, Berks SL2 4HL with further information.

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