"No surgical beds in the hospital"

About: Leicester Royal Infirmary

Unfortunately, my son's whole episode of care felt completely chaotic. Whilst I am fully aware of the daily challenges we face in the NHS, and the bed pressures we are under, there was also a lot of disjointed, repeated care. The staff we encountered were friendly and kind, but the amount of waiting about was unacceptable. This was even more accentuated when we were given no information. After a wait in A&E we were moved to SAU. By moving from A&E I am assuming we quickly moved off the ‘whiteboard’ and the waiting targets in A&E were met - for you - but certainly not for us. Information was not forthcoming on SAU; the late shift came and went, the night staff appeared. We had already been seen by 2 nurses, a HCA and a GP in A&E and there we were waiting again for the Consultant (or so we were led to believe in A&E). However, the night staff (we had by this time already been on SAU for 3 hours) were incredulous when I enquired when my son was going to be seen by the Consultant...."oh no, the Consultant wasn't there, you will be seen by the Surgical Registrar, and he is the only one on at the moment and if he gets called to a trauma case you will just have to wait, I'm afraid". That is what we had to just do. Wait. My son is usually very fit and healthy and we found ways to pass the time. However, he was told to not eat and drink...but with no updated information along the way. Thankfully he did not require admission, and we eventually left SAU at 11.30pm. My real concern was for a frail and elderly lady aged 90 who was also waiting; there were 4 females, all waiting for beds (at 11.30 pm) and they were told no female beds in the hospital....on behalf of this lady I went and told the night staff that she had fallen asleep in the chair, and I really felt that she should have a bed. If there were no beds - why were 4 people + my son waiting at 11.30 pm? Surely, people would not be discharged and asked to go home at that time of night? I have no idea if that dear lady got a bed last night. I do hope so. There was kindness, on an individual level, but it really felt that the whole patient care pathway was chaotic. (There was also dirt all around the skirting boards in the waiting area in SAU.) I am certain the nurses and the doctors do not ever intend to give a sub-standard service, but they were clearly under resourced and the bed management during the day was clearly flawed. If my son needed urgent care in the future, I would not recommend this hospital; I have to admit that I would scoop him up and take him somewhere else.

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Response from Leicester Royal Infirmary

Dear reviewer, Thank you for taking the time to post your comment. We are extremely sorry and concerned to hear of your experience on SAU at the Royal and would like to investigate this further. We would be happy to meet with you to discuss your concerns, or alternatively, please could you email your son's details (name, address, date of birth) to the head of nursing, Georgina.Kenney@uhl-tr.nhs.uk, or deputy head of nursing, Kerry.Johnston@uhl-tr.nhs.uk, so we can look into this case. Kind regards, Communications team, Leicester's Hospitals

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