"Treatment of Self-Harm at a and e"

About: Stepping Hill Hospital / Accident and emergency

(as the patient),

For the first time in over 2 years, I self-harmed recently. On 2 occasions I required stitches at Stepping Hill A & E. Unfortunately in the past I have had many horrible experiences and judgements of staff in the department i feel.

However, despite me attending twice in a matter of days, the treatment I received on these occasions was professional and compassionate.

On the first occasion I attended last week I experienced I suppose what may be described as flashbacks and memories of poor and quite awful treatment by staff in that department in the past. I had panic attacks whilst there. The sister on duty that evening helped calm me down and took me to the interview room, where she stayed whilst I calmed down a little. Having to wait in this room instead of the usual waiting room helped me greatly, as did the kindness of that nurse. I did not have a further panic attack. In addition, the nurse who stitched me up was again caring and compassionate. I did not feel judged, I felt supported.

The only downside of that visit was the Dr who assessed my wound. The Doctor did not tell me her name and asked inappropriate questions.

It was clear that the dctor felt uncomfortable around self-harm. Perhaps the doctor could do with a little training and help to feel less uncomfortable as the doctor undoubtedly comes across self harm frequently in the department.

My second visit to be stitched up for self harm occurred just days later. Again, I would like to express my gratitude to the Dr and the nurses involved in my care. The triage nurse (a sister) had no problem with me requesting to wait in the interview room as this had helped the a few days before. The Dr who assessed my wound spent time to ask how I was doing with my mental health and was keen for me to see the mental health team.

However, my decision not to because of my knowing this wouldn't be helpful was respected. Finally, the nurse who stitched me was again caring and non-judgemental.

It would be great if the people involved in my care could be acknowledged and my comments somehow be passed onto them. Having had so many horrendous experiences in the past I would like to thank them for their help and just human kindness. It makes a huge difference and helps me be less hard on myself in what is an extremely difficult time for me right now.

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Response from Cath Marsland, Head of Risk and Patient and Customer Services, Stockport NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for taking the time to post your feedback which I have shared with the Emergency Department.

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Response from Stepping Hill Hospital

Thank you for sharing your positive account of your visit to the Emergency Department. I am pleased that the care you received made a positive difference for you. I will certainly pass your feedback on to the people involved in your care. Kieren Done Complaints and Customer Service Team Manager

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