"A&E experience - not good"

About: The Royal Victoria Infirmary

8 days after knee surgery at the Freeman hospital I was told to go to RVI A&E with suspected blood clot. Student nurse failed to get blood from my arm so I was sent back to waiting room. After 2 hours saw Doctor who took blood sample but said I had to wait for results (these would have been there if student had got the blood earlier). Further 2 hour wait and test still not back. After 5 and a half hours in wheelchair and in pain I told Doctor I was going home and he said someone would ring if test result positive. At no point in my stay in the waiting area was I offered assistance, a drink or pain medication. The waiting room is awful with no privacy. I had my husband with me so could get water and he could ask for information. I feel so sorry for anyone who goes to A&E on their own. On a positive note the Doctor was extremely knowledgeable and very helpful. If this is one of the best A&E depts what are the worst like?

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from The Royal Victoria Infirmary

Thank you for taking the time to post your comments on NHS Choices about your recent attendance at the Emergency Department, RVI. We are very disappointed to hear that you had a poor experience and we wish to assure you that this is not the standard of care that we would expect our staff to provide. In order to try to reduce the time that patients have to spend in the department, staff do try to anticipate any investigations which may be needed before the patient is seen by a doctor. We apologise that this was not explained to you at the time. It is evident from your experience that there was difficulty in obtaining your blood sample. As your posting is anonymous we are unable to investigate this further but if you would be willing to provide specific details we can look into the concerns you have raised. In general we would expect a qualified nurse to have discussed this difficulty with you and explained the plan of action. If this was a specific test to exclude a blood clot, the test does take longer than routine blood investigations and again would wish to apologise to you that this was not explained to you at the time of taking the blood. In response to your comments, the issues you have raised have been discussed with senior nurses and medical staff working in the department in order to address the situation you found yourself in and we would be happy to consider any suggestions that you may wish to make to improve the patient experience. To do this, please contact Matron McNab on 0191 233 6161 who would be happy to look into your concerns in further detail. Once again thank you for bringing these issues to our attention.

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