"A & E time waiting absolutely terrible."

About: The Royal Victoria Infirmary

I was sent to A&E by my GP at 5.30pm yesterday afternoon with severe breathing difficulties + COPD. On arrival I handed my letter to a sister who then said she would get me straight through as she realised i was having difficulty breathing. I was put into a cubicle and my blood pressure and stats were taken . After approx 15 mins I was informed my stats were reasonable and did not require a bed and was put into a small room with a chair. The nurse then decided, he felt that I required to have a Nebuliser and said the Dr would be with me shortly. At 8.00 pm I informed the nurse I would be better at home but he insisted for me to stay as he felt my condition had worsened and said a dr would be with me soon. At 8.20 I finally saw a doctor who examined me and said that she would be admitting me into hospital. She took some blood tests and requested a chest x ray. I returned from the chest x ray at 8.50 and they told the porter to put me back into the room and she would be with me shortly. At 10.00 I went out of the room to find a nurse to find out what would be happening. I was told by a nurse that she was busy but would find out for me. ( I'm still awaiting the nurse to come and tell me) At approx 10.45 I felt that exhausted through breathlessness and coughing I decided to find the nurse again but found nobody at the nurses station . All the time in between receiving the nebuliser and seeing the dr and ,from x ray and not once did anyone check on me. I then decided to come home and at least have some rest instead of sitting on a hard chair for over 4 hours. On awakening, I found a telephone message left a 00:50am by a&e requesting me to phone asap. I telephoned this morning to be informed that they had only realised i was gone and were concerned for my safety. I find the whole process totally unacceptable.

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Response from The Royal Victoria Infirmary

We are very sorry to learn of your experience when attending the Emergency Department this week. We would like to assure you that staff in the department do try to treat all patients promptly. On occasions this can be extremely challenging due to the unpredictable nature of the patient attendances to the department and also as the department is the major Trauma Centre for the whole region. All patients are assessed in order of their clinical condition and needs. We would wish to apologise if this you felt that you waiting too long to be seen. We would also like to apologise that the communication with the nursing staff was not to the standard we expect during your visit. Our staff will be reminded of their duties in this regard. If you would like to contact the Matron in the Emergency Department to discuss your concerns in more detail, she will be happy to discuss your experience with you. Matron McNab can be contacted via the hospital switchboard on 0191 233 6161.

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