"A study in inefficiency"

About: Peterborough City Hospital

I'm not a British citizen, but as a retired US Army Colonel, and now a government civilian, I have been exposed to worldwide medical facilities. I have also lived in the UK for over 7 years now and I'm only glad to have not required immediate care. Admidettly I only had a sliced hand from broken glass (later only required 3 stitches at the US Emergency facility at Lakenheath) but on arrival just after 7pm, there was one couple in front of me. He had an injury in his shin and was made to triage his wound at the reception center. Not only show the banded wound, but also remove the band aid where upon the blood shot onto the floor (2 hours later was still there). I was next, address taken, then also showed my wound after removing the cover and was told "that's fine then." I took a seat. Within the first hour only one of the probably 10 - 12 people where seen. An elderly man with what appeared to be a broken arm complained he had been there over three hours to be told the waiting time is around 4 hours. A women came in at 8:30 very drunk speaking loudly about wanting to kill herself....not seen either. Steadily at around 9:00pm the line at the reception went outside the hospital, Mums with prams, men with broken smashed fingers, all seemingly to only be seen sequentially as they arrived....and the TV banner steadily running the "average wait time is four hours." It was all very disheartening, in fact if I ever was called I would have had to defer to someone in higher need ...and there were many. At 9:30pm i left ....or tried to. The pay parking lot required payment, but none of the machines card reader were working...and as I did have dollars, I was unfortunately short on sterling. I finally found the cash machine at the main building and made my escape. It is apparrant the hospital A&E is very short staffed ....and it was also obvious the slow care was not for a lack of trying. Hospitals are places where people go when they need care, yours just could not provide it.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Lesley Crosby, Deputy Chief Nurse, Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

I am sorry that you had such a poor experience. I will be sharing your posting with the Lead Nurse for ED so that staff can reflect on the interactions that they had with you.

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