"Very long wait in PAU, no account taken of Special..."
About: New Cross Hospital New Cross Hospital Wolverhampton WV10 0QP
Posted via NHS Choices
Our daughter was experiencing abdominal pain of unknown cause. We were referred to the Paediatric Assessment Unit (PAU) by our GP who phoned ahead. There was nobody on reception to take our details or to greet us. Eventually we were let in by a parent at 6.55 pm. We were told to take a seat after taking from us the referral letter from our GP. We explained that our daughter is Austistic, with no speech, poor understanding and that she finds it difficult to wait. After about 30 minutes they performed a triage and then moved us to a bay. After a further hour and half wait ( 8.50 pm ) we enquired about how long it would be before she was assessed. By this time our daughter was very upset and confused as to why she was there, usually at home she would have been in bed asleep by now. During this time no one had come to enquire how she was, despite her distress which was obvious. We were told that they had to do a change over of staff and that usually takes 30 minutes, and therefore we had approximately a further hour to wait. We were eventually seen at 11.10 pm, 4 hours and 15 minutes after arriving. Our daughter was exhausted. We left the hospital at 11.55 pm. The quality of care when we finally received it was good and the doctor did apologise for our wait, explaining that they had been especially busy. From what we could see the ward seemed quiet, especially after 9.30pm. For a while we saw two doctors writing up notes, while our daughter was clearly anxious/distressed. Our main concerns are:- No allowance was given for our daughter's autism and her inability to understand and cope with the environment she found herself in. We feel that there should be a special fast tracking service for children/or adults with special needs. Do the hospital have a special needs policy for children and adults? We were not kept in formed as to the likely waiting time. No one came to us during the wait to ask how she was even when she was showing signs of distress. 5 hours for a child with Autism, no speech, very little understanding of the world around her, is far too long, especially at that time of day.