"My Father's 7 Hour Wait to see a Doctor in the SAU"

About: St Peter's Hospital / Accident and emergency St Peter's Hospital / Older people's healthcare

(as a relative),

I will keep this story as brief and to the point as much as possible. My father went to see his GP on Wednesday this week due to a problem with his "waterworks. He was referred to St Peters A&E unit. I took him in at approx 14.00. I must say that we did not wait too long before he was given his initial first checks, Blood test, pressure, Heart etc,. We then waited for about an hour in a cubicle in A&E so at this point things were not too bad.

We were then taken upstairs to the SAU Dept and told to wait in a very cramped waiting room for a Doctor to come and see my Father. On the wall it states that the dept aim to see patients within 2 hours. We both sat there for 4 hours and with no sign of a Doctor. It was at this point when I started to wonder if my Father had been forgotten about, but I soon saw red when other patients who had arrived after us were seen before my father. I went out to the reception and asked the Sister on Duty why my father had been waiting so long. We had been waiting at this point 6 Hours.

We were then moved to a small treatment room where we were seen to briefly by a Doctor who then disappeared for about 45 mins. I only caught his attention when he finally returned because I stood outside the treatment room. He then told us that he was handing over to another Doctor coming in to start his duty. We were told that my father was going to have a scan, but this did not happen.

A very nice Doctor came to see my father. At this point we were into our 8th gruelling hour of waiting. At this point I was getting very concerned about the apparent lack of communication and care. I kept on asking if they would admit my father but they said it was all according to what the scan had revealed. Still no scan and finally after 10 solid hours they finally admitted him. They have fitted a catheter to him which is causing him some bleeding through it. We were told today that this was quite normal.

They were originally saying that he could come home today, but due to the bleeding they are keeping him in tonight as well. He has been booked in for an Ultrasound scan next week. This means that he will be discharged with the catheter still fitted. He than has to go back to the hospital for this and then wait for the results. We asked why the ultrasound cannot be done as a matter of procedure towards his treatment whilst he is there. They told us they cannot guarantee it could be done this way.

I don't want this to sound all bad and I have nothing but the utmost respect and praise for the team who are currently looking after him. However our appalling experience seems to me to have demonstrated that the government have trimmed back the NHS so much that patients like my 78 year old father are suffering needless agonising waits because of this. My complaint is mainly aimed at the lack of funding by the government but also to St Peters for the total lack of pre admission care and communication. If I was giving a score for the pre-admission experience I would give it 1 out of 10.

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Response from St Peter's Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to post your comments here. We see that this comment was posted on Patient Opinion and we have only just received notification of this now, so apologies for what would seem a delayed response. We are really sorry and concerned to hear your comments about your father's experience in our hospital. It is difficult for us to comment further without more detail, so if you could contact our patient experience team on 01932 723553 or email pals@asph.nhs.uk so that we can investigate this for you.

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