"An unexpected and frightening scenario"

About: East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust / Emergency ambulance Pilgrim Hospital / Accident and emergency Pilgrim Hospital / Ophthalmology

(as the patient),

Having had an awful and extremely frightening experience of distorted vision and strange head pains an ambulance was called for me and took me to The Pilgrim hospital, Boston A & E dept. The ambulance crew were wonderful, very comforting and reassuring and cared for me so well.

At A&E I was seen quickly by a nurse and then put in a side room for 2. 5 hours without seeing anyone. I was feeling very ill, frightened and concerned about my health but no one came to see me or talk to me during this period. The ward was very noisy, with a group of 5 & 6 people going in and out of one the screened areas laughing and joking. I had a bad headache, was very concerned I had had a stroke or brain bleed, but was left without any reassurance, discussion or review of my situation which made me worry that my situation could deteriorate.

After 1. 5 hours my partner asked when I would be seen and was told I was next to see the doctor, after waiting another 0. 5 hour he asked again and was told a few minutes. Having arrived at about 6. 15pm it was after 9. 00 before I was eventually seen, told I needed a CAT Scan to see if I had had a stroke. After being put in another room I was sent for the CAT scan and then back to the room. After waiting again I was told without any explanation that I was going to CDU ward.

On CDU ward I saw a doctor who told me my scan was clear, I would need to attend the eye clinic the next day and that I could go home. A nurse removed my cannula and when I asked why I had been sent to CDU told me I had 'breeched' A& E. I asked what that meant and she said that I had been there over 3 hours.

The lack of communication during this experience was disgusting, bearing in mind that I thought I may have had a stroke, felt very ill and was really frightened. All patients want is to be treated with respect, care and dignity and as if they matter. When you are in A&E and waiting, you see staff standing around, chatting, having a laugh which is not a problem if you feel that you have been dealt with. It may be a daily situation to them but to the patients it is an unexpected an frightening scenario.

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Response from East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust

Dear Frannywoo

I hope you are feeling better now following what must have been a very distressing time for you. It's good to hear that your experience of East Midlands Ambulance Service from a positive one. If you would like your comments passing to the ambulance crew that looked after you, our Patient Experience Team would be happy to help with this if you email them at PALS.Office@emas.nhs.uk giving them details of the date, time and location the ambulance came to you.

Best wishes

Rebecca Long

Communication & Engagement Support Officer

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