"No neurologist in Hereford"
About: Hereford County Hospital Hereford County Hospital Hereford HR1 2ER
Posted by Rosie
I was referred to the hospital by my GP with a persistent and extremely painful headache (13 days now). The referral used a new service - CAU or something like that. The bed bank staff had no clue how to use it, but I had to go to A&E in the first instance. The A&E desk staff grumbled about the bed bank staff not using the service properly. My husband spotted liquid blood drops in the waiting room and informed the desk staff, they had a conversation about who might have left it there earlier in the day, after 5 minutes it was cleaned up. I was given triage after 75 minutes waiting, still in intense pain, then placed in a observation room with three others, one who was very loud and who's husband was phoning all his friends in succession. A nurse came and said that there was an emergency and I would have to wait again before a doctor saw me. My husband said that I too was an emergency, the reply was "people who are not breathing is an emergency". I'd hate to be a stroke victim in your hospital. A junior doctor eventually came, only then was I offered more pain relief. I have had three surgical procedures this year and my veins will only accept "newborn" canulae, my husband advised her of this and she had to go and find one. Clearly babies are never brought in to A&E. After being there for a total of 210 minutes I was taken to Frome ward in a room with bright lights, lots of noise and three elderly women patients who each had mental problems and were also very loud. Despite my severe headache and slight sensitivity to light. 90 minutes later most of my blood test results came back with a consultant - a cardiologist - two tests were outstanding. The consultant said he couldn't diagnose for neurology (clearly!) and that I would need to see one in the next few days. On the first floor there is an acute stroke unit, yet no neurologist! No wonder Herefordshire Headway has so many clients! A further 60 minutes later I was taken down for a CT scan and an x-ray of my cervical spine. The consultant returned some time later and advised me that there was nothing unusual there, which was a relief. Despite my husband's continuous requests, there was no sign of the final two blood results for another 90 minutes which fortunately were normal. I was eventually discharged after a full 8 hours in hospital, I'm really pleased that I didn't have a neurological problem because in that time it could easily have developed into something seriously debilitating. Having no neurologist in Hereford and considering the coverage ranges from Malvern to Rhayader (and beyond) is, frankly, atrocious. I moved here from Bristol. Bristolians joke about how dirty BRI is, but it's outstanding compared to Hereford.s filthy, ill-managed, ill-staffed so-called hospital. As an aside, the three elderly women on the ward were seriously neglected. One was continuously trying to remove her catheter, another with dementia was bewildered, the third was simply mad and chuckling all the time.