"A&E for pregnancy bleeding - woefully inadequate..."
About: Wexham Park Hospital Wexham Park Hospital Slough SL2 4HL
Posted by C Schofield
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.