"New building same old problems"

About: Southmead Hospital

I took my son to A&E with a massive abscess in his groin (which required surgery and packing the following morning). I arrived at 4pm and booked in where I was duly informed there was a 1-2 hour wait. After 2 hours I began to observe new arrival patients being called and enquired at the reception, whereupon I was told that they were patients who were sent by their GP and thus get priority. The receptionist did not even check where my son was on the list, simply gave a blind rationale. We then waited another 2 hours (4hrs in total with my son in immense pain) where I watched mostly all who had arrived after us having been called. I decided to bypass the receptionist and approached the triage nurse and enquired if they were able to provide me with any updates as when my son would be seen. When I told them we had been waiting for 4 hours their reply was “you can’t be; the waiting list is only 2 hour max”. The triage nurse then looked at their screen and my son’s name was not even on it. From there a doctor was called and sure enough my son’s name was not on their system. I then followed the doctor to the receptionist where the question was posed where was my son’s details? It was discovered that while the receptionist had inserted all his details they had forgotten to send it through to the Doctors/Nurses’ logging system. Had the receptionist looked at their screen 2 hours earlier instead of showing complete indifference to my earlier enquiry my son would have received treatment hours earlier. I voiced to a very apologetic doctor (in earshot of the receptionist) that it was a waste of time having a state of the art resource if the staff manning the systems were incompetent. Had I not approached the triage nurse we could have been waiting until the next morning?

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Response from Southmead Hospital

Dear Anonymous – thank you for taking the time and trouble to post your feedback. I apologise that your son had such a distressing time at A&E and that a clerical error led to a delay in him being seen and treated. This is clearly unacceptable and your comments have been shared with the staff in A&E. I hope that when he was seen the staff were able to assist your son and resolve his immediate pain and discomfort as much as possible. Kind regards – Steve Sykes Advice and Complaints Team

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