"Dreadful lack of treatment at disfunctional A and..."

About: Derriford Hospital

After checking in at the A and E department shortly after 12.30 with a badly injured finger I was kept waiting in a chilly waiting room along with other patients before being transferred to another smaller,warmer waiting room, after an initial examination at approximately 2.30 by a doctor, my wound was cleaned and I was given an injection to deaden the area with the proviso that I would be seen within a quarter of an hour by a specialist who would repair the wound . I was told to return to the waiting room and wait. Two hours later, just after 4.30PM I was taken to the waiting room of a ward which was full of waiting patients,from the reaction of the staff nurse in charge it was obvious that that there was already a delay in their receiving treatment. There were 6 patients,a noticeboard revealed that the first patient had been due to be seen before 3.00,at 6.00 he had still not been tended. After repeated requests from anxious patients and carers the staff nurse on duty did try unsuccessfully to resolve the situation. We were then told that the delay was caused by the non arrival of a plastic surgeon. Later,some time after 6.00 when a surgeon did arrive a request was made that due to the number of patients, plus the length of time that they had been been waiting, another surgeons assistance would help to clear the back log, this was ignored. At this point 6.50, 6 hours or so after first arriving,I left the hospital without receiving treatment. I was tired,hungry,thirsty and disenchanted at not only the lack of urgency but also the total lack of explanation or information given throughout the day. Why were patients taken to a ward when it was obvious that there was no plastic surgeon willing to carry out their treatment? Why was there no response to the appeal for assistance from the ward staff nurse when it became obvious that patients were in distress ? I found this to be a totally unacceptable experience for not only me, but also for other vulnerable patients who needed of care and attention .

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Mary Anderson, Senior Quality Facilitator, Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust

Good afternoon

Firstly, can I apologise for the lengthy delay in acknowledging receipt of your message. I would further like to apologise for the disappointing response to yours and other patients' needs as described in your posting following your attendance and initial treatment at the Emergency Department. I would be grateful to know the exact date of your attendance as this would assist the Trust in understanding the problems that led to the long delays you describe with a view to putting in place measures to prevent a recurrence of the poor experience you and other patients shared.

I am sorry that we let you down.

Kind regards


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