"Poor experience of Torbay A&E"

About: Torbay Hospital / Accident and emergency

(as the patient),

Was advised to go to A&E by GP if pain got too bad so took myself off to A&E about 3/4 am. Waited ages to be seen, then was checked into the ward. After 6+ hours I was finally given pain killers. The doctor came to see me after 3hrs 59mins (so as to hit their 4 hour target) to give me the pain killers.

I was told I shouldn't be in A&E. I was only following advice of my GP. I was then told all they could do was book me in for surgery the next day. They failed to tell me not to eat and drink, so I had a hot choc and then could not have the surgery. Really poor care. It felt like they were just ticking boxes and hitting targets. It is a shame common sense seemed to be lacking here.

In an ideal world, I should have been told as soon as I arrived with my letter from my GP, that there was nothing they could do until the next day, advised me not to eat or drink and invited me back next day for surgery.

When I did try to find out what was going on and how long I could expect to be waiting to be seen, staff were really short with me and I felt they couldn't be bothered to talk to me. I expressed I was concerned about having to be at work for 9 am, and just got a really short answer, asking me what was more important, my work or my health?

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Response from Torbay Hospital

4. Dear Patient, We are very sorry to hear about your experience and that the standard of your care fell below that which we strive to provide. We would like the opportunity to discuss your experience with you and try our best to resolve it. If you are happy to talk to us about this, please contact our Patient Advice & Liaison Service (PALS) so they can look into your situation in more detail. 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 two 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). We look forward to hearing from you so that we can address the issues you have raised. Kind regards South Devon Healthcare NHS Foundation.

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