"A&E experience related to mental health"

About: Queen's Medical Centre / Accident and emergency

(as the patient),

I suffer from Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and have times of crisis where I am distressed and suicidal.

I attended the A&E at the QMC and arrived at 2. 30am. The receptionist and triage nurses were lovely and very helpful and I was asked to sit in the waiting area to wait for someone to come and see me from the Department of Psychiatric Medicine.

I waited and waited and people came and went. Drunk men sat next to me, people that had been fighting etc etc. The chairs were very uncomfortable and I was in a lot of emotional distress.

No one came to see me to tell me why I had to wait so long. Other people kept commenting 'when are you going to be seen? ' I felt like I was being punished and made to wait because of my mental health problems. They are not as important as physical health.

I finally saw a psychiatric nurse at 9. 30am after sitting and waiting 7 hours through the night.

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Response from Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust We have made a change

Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust and Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust are both very sorry for the unacceptable wait that you experienced in the Emergency Department. Whilst there has been significant increase in the number of referrals affecting the speed of assessments, both organisations are working together, and with local commissioners, to reduce the time it takes before people that present with mental illness to the Emergency Department are seen by a mental health clinician.

Nottinghamshire Healthcare Trust are employing an additional two members of mental health nursing staff to reduce delays for patients in a similar position to you to be cared for in a more timely way. We have also recently agreed clinical pathways so that patients who need both physical and mental health assessments can have these concurrently, if it is clinically appropriate to do so. This is also intended to decrease the time patients with mental illness stay in the Emergency Department.

Updates, changes and questions related to this story