"A&E reception would embarrass a Third World..."

About: West Cumberland Hospital

Arriving at A&E with a child screaming out in pain, the two people idly chatting behind the glass screens of reception ignored us entirely, and the obvious distress of our child. He could have been dying for all they knew, or cared. They ignored us for a total of 10 minutes before a receptionist could be bothered to speak to us. Perhaps they were on a break. Perhaps they worked in another department and were just there for a chat, but they demonstrated a serious lack of humanity that has no place in a hospital. Once checked-in, we felt that the triage nurse and the doctor we eventually saw, acted with skill and compassion, but we found the experience in reception to be quite shocking. No doubt A&E reception have to put up with all kinds of troubled people and difficult situations, but no amount of that justifies ignoring genuine human suffering while having a chat. I am absolutely disgusted by our treatment at West Cumberland.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from West Cumberland Hospital

Thank you for contacting us about this recent experience at A&E reception at West Cumberland Hospital. I am sorry that your experience on the day fell short of our usual standards. The reception area is shared with that of another department, however the events as you describe are unacceptable. I will look into this to ensure that we learn from this for the future. Thank you for drawing this to our attention and for your positive comments regarding the clinical teams encountered. I do hope that your son has made a good recovery. Best wishes . Alison Patient Experience

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