"I had been advised to visit A&E ..."

About: West Middlesex University Hospital

(as the patient),

What I liked

I had been advised to visit A&E for a tetanus shot after attending an NHS Walk-In Centre.

The medical staff (especially the medical students) showed great interest in my minor injury (snakebite), and were appreciative of my time not being wasted to wait for tests to show what was already apparent (that I was fine but wanted a precautionary shot).

I was treated as a capable, intelligent adult, with great respect, and common sense. It can be easy for medical staff to unintentionally patronise patients but this was absolutely not the case. I was dealt with speedily and enthusiastically and with good humour. I would like to pass on my thanks to the medical students who treated me, and their registrar who approved their suggestion of my rapid process and discharge.

What could be improved

The reception staff who initially booked me in did not present a very professional image, either in demeanour or dress, and did not seem to be able to answer fairly simple questions. This was fairly frustrating.

It did take me a while to work out where I should park my car; when driving oneself to A&E and therefore unable to use the drop off zone, in the stress of the situation it is easy to get confused. The threat of wheelclamping doesn't help with the stress levels either.

Anything else?

My last visit to West Mid was ten years ago, after transfer by ambulance. I spent six hours waiting on a trolley, looking at a very unattractive ceiling and feeling very much alone and bloody.

The improvement was marked.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from West Middlesex University Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to give feedback on your visit to our hospital. We are pleased that on the whole you had a very positive experience. Your comments have been passed on to the relevent staff responsible for A&E.

We are sorry that your experience with the reception staff did not meet the high standards we would expect. We are carrying out a comprehensive training programme, focusing on customer care, and are also planning to implement uniforms for our reception staff in the near future.

We would like to apologise if the parking arrangements were not clear, and will be carrying out a review of signage at the hospital. We are fortunate to have ample parking facilities.

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