"Urgent care for young girl"

About: Devon Doctors Ltd South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust / NHS 111 Torbay Hospital / Accident and emergency

(as a parent/guardian),

My daughter quickly became ill recently, having a high temperature and acute stomach ache.

We called 111 at about 6. 10 and I was pleased that the phone was answered promptly and we spoke to a nice young man. He took our details but then his computer crashed and we had to wait a few minutes to be transferred to another caller where I did have to repeat some details. However, the second man dealt with the matter very expertly and suggested we needed to see a GP in 6 hours.

He transferred our details to the out of hours service and we were promptly phoned back by a nice female GP who asked me some more questions (not the same as before) and suggested my daughter needed to be seen by an out of hours GP and the nearest treatment center was Torbay.

I took her down there and was a bit concerned to see how busy A&E was (full! )

However, we saw the GP quickly and he was great, really good with my little girl and thorough.

The Doc signage was very clear and professional.

However, I thought the A&E environment was poor. There are out of date posters (yellowing NHS Direct poster near the door? I thought that had gone now), posters peeling off the wall, some sort of broken technology near the toilets, confused messages about Bay Health Center (I thought that had gone too? ).

When we saw the GP, I was also concerned that some of the equipment wasn’t working. The GP had to spend about 5 minutes searching for a power lead to make the ear inspection device work. Having found one, it still didn’t work!

Luckily, the GP had one in their bag. Also, we needed to get a urine sample so I took my daughter to the toilet. Someone was being sick in the female toilet so that was immediately out of order. That left the men’s or disabled (we opted for the latter). If one of those was out of order, one toilet for 40-50 sick people? ?

That just doesn't seem enough. There was also no indication where the next nearest facilities may be.

It is quite a scary environment for a young child, and my daughter did confess going home that she couldn't produce a sample because she was nervous. I don’t doubt the clinical care is good, but the environment could frankly do with a bit of love, it felt shabby and uncared for.

First impressions do count and contribute to the patient experience.

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Response from Patient Experience Lead, Patient Quality and Safety, South Devon and Torbay Clinical Commissioning Group

Dear Anxious mum of Paignton

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with us and I am really pleased that you found the clinical care provided to be good.

I was sorry to read of your impressions of the A&E enviornment and I am sorry that this made your daughter feel scared. I will ensure that your comments are shared with the hopsital to see what they can do about this, particularly ensuring up to date information is displayed.

Should you wish to discuss this further or you would like any help, please do not hesitate to contact the Patient Experience Team on 01803 652 578 or patientfeedback.sdtccg@nhs.net

Kind Regards

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Response from Devon Doctors We have made a change

Dear Anxious mum of Paignton,

We are sorry to hear that your daughter was unwell and hope she is better now.

We’re pleased the signage was helpful. We have recently re-designed our signs to assist patients further following feedback from our weekly patient surveys.

With regards to the equipment you mentioned, we have raised this issue immediately with the Senior Manager for our bases and will ensure a full review into the incident is carried out promptly. Any learning taken forward will of course be implemented at all our bases across the county.

Many of our bases are co-located within hospitals for the convenience of our patients due to their location and other facilities should patients then require further tests or emergency admission. Co-locating near A&E/ED departments also allows us to assist these teams during the busy out of hours period.

Our use of the rooms at Torbay and the facilities available have been reviewed and we are pleased to report our clinicians will soon be moving to a new area of the hospital, which is fully accessible and has the benefits of being quieter and a very pleasant environment.

Thank you for taking the time to share your story with us, we really appreciate it.

Patient Experience Team – Devon Doctors

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Response from Sara Coburn, Patient Engagement Manager, Governance, South Western Ambulance Service Foundation Trust

Hi Anxious mum of Paignton

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback - I hope your daughter is feeling better!

It is rewarding to hear how our staff are continuing to provide excellent care and advice to patients, and those around them, when they need it most. We can share your kind comments with the 111 staff you spoke to however we will need a little more information to identify the staff involved. If you would like us to do this, please contact me on either sara.coburn@swast.nhs.uk or 01392 261 552.

Thank you again for taking the time to provide us with feedback.


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Response from Torbay Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to comment on your recent experience at Torbay Hospital.

Whilst we are pleased to hear about the quality of the clinical care your daughter received, we are very sorry that you were unhappy with the environment in A&E. Your feedback will be shared the managers concerned, as we do try to ensure that we learn from any negative experiences.

If you would a like to know what action will be taken as a result of your feedback, then we would be grateful if you could please contact Patient Advice & Liaison Service (PALS). A PALS Officer is available in person, Monday to Friday, between 10.00am and 2.00pm. You can contact them by calling 01803 655838 or on our 24 hour freephone number 0800 02 82 037. If you get through to the voicemail service please leave your contact details and you will receive a call back within three working days.

PALS can also be contacted by Text Phone on 01803 654742, by FAX on 01803 617162, or via email to sdhc@nhs.net (your email will go direct to our PALS Service).

Many thanks again for taking the time to provide this feedback.

South Devon Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

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