"I waited 2 hours to see a doctor in A&E "

About: South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust / Emergency ambulance Southmead Hospital / General medicine

(as the patient),

I went to the walk in centre in Bristol and I was told I needed an ambulance. On arrival at Southmead it was chaos. Nobody knew how to open the door. The ambulance staff, one of whom was Gemma Chapman, went above and beyond the call of duty. They booked me in at A&E reception and then refused to leave me in the room I was sent to until it was cleaned up as initially it was too dirty. Someone came to clean up but all they did was sweep around the en suite. There were dirty clothes and rags on the floor.

I was then left in a chair by a bed for over an hour and a half. My head and neck had seized and I also have spinal problems (I have Spondylitis). I even went to walk out on crutches. I waited 2 hours to see a doctor in A&E and had nothing to drink nor any pain relief throughout that time. I also suffer from Angina. I was then transferred from A&E to a General Ward. In my opinion the handover of care was a disgrace. I still required medical attention and I felt so alone and in so much pain.

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Response from Laura Martin, Patient Engagement Administrator, Governance, South Western Ambulance Service

picture of Laura Martin

Dear Indigo44

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience. I hope you are feeling much better now.

It is always rewarding to hear that our staff are continuing to provide excellent care to our patients when they need us most.

I will ensure your kind comments are passed onto Gemma and her crew mate, who I am sure will really appreciate your feedback.

Kind regards


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Response from Steven Sykes, Advice & Complaints Team Manager, North Bristol NHS Trust

Dear Indigo44 – thank you for taking the time and trouble to contact us with your feedback. The situation you describe is not acceptable and certainly does not reflect the standard of cleanliness which should be provided for any hospital accommodation or consultation rooms. I find it difficult to understand why there was a problem with the door unless there was a technical fault. A&E can be very busy, but at all times staff will try and prioritise and triage all patients so they can be treated in accordance with their clinical needs, and I regret that you were not able to be seen sooner. I cannot comment on the handover as you do not say in what way it was problematic, but a full history should have been passed on to allow a more comprehensive diagnosis if necessary once you were on the ward.

I am sorry that your experience was so poor when you were admitted and I hope that once you were on the ward you care improved, you received the reassurances you deserved and your pain was resolved.

Kind Regards -

The staff in the A&E department have been made aware of your concerns.

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