"Bad experience at A&E"

About: Darlington Memorial Hospital

My daughter was taken by ambulance at the decision of the paramedics to A&E on Friday. She had been suffering headaches for weeks and had been to the GP twice. But during Thursday night some new symptoms came on which were pain down her right arm, laboured speech and tingling in her fingers. On arrival at hospital not one member of staff acknowledged either us or the paramedics. We waited until finally the paramedic went to the reception and got booked in. We were taken to the children's department and after a long wait a nurse came to asses my daughter. The nurse was pleasant and kind and asked if we would like to wait in the room as it was very noisy in the other room and my daughter was in a lot of pain. Eventually a doctor came with another person (presumably a trainee) and they asked me to leave as they wanted to examine my daughter. My daughter asked me to stay but the doctor said no I had to leave and so I did. When she came out my daughter said we are going home so I asked what was happening. I was told there was nothing wrong with my daughter and before I could ask anything else the doctor asked if I would like a second opinion. I found this odd but said yes and a senior consultant came to talk to us. While they were very pleasant I was somewhat surprised to hear them say to my daughter that her mum was worried she had suffered a stroke. I had never mentioned a stroke to anyone at the hospital and felt very patronised at this point. They also implied the pain and tingling fingers could be in their imagination. Again this was very patronising and at NO time had I ever suggested a stroke to my daughter. We left the hospital having been told to take paracetamol and carry on with the antibiotics she had from the doctor. They also said if things didn't improve they could be referred to a neurologist. Both my daughter and I were very upset by the experience and when we got home my daughter told me that the first doctor asked why she needed her mum when she was 16! And why she had gone to A &E, well because that's what the paramedic said we should do. Also the other doctor spent the whole time on her mobile phone, very unprofessional. I would like to add that my daughter is still in agony with headaches, still has pain in Her hand and tingling fingers so I will be taking her back to the GP and going in with her for whether she is 16 or not. The GP will be more than happy with me accompanying her.

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Response from Darlington Memorial Hospital

Thank you for providing feedback on your daughter's recent visit to the Accident and Emergency department at Darlington Memorial Hospital. I am very sorry to hear that you were unhappy with the treatment and care your daughter received on this visit. We would welcome the opportunity to discuss your concerns with you. If you feel this would be useful please contact the Trust’s Patient Experience Team on 0800 7835774. If you would prefer to contact us by e-mail, our address is patient.experience@cddft.nhs.uk Alternatively, you can write to us at the following address: - Patient Experience Team Appleton House Lanchester Road Hospital Site Durham DH1 5XZ If you do decide to contact us, please make us aware that you have left comments on the NHS Choices website. The Trust is grateful for all feedback, positive or negative, as it means we can better understand what is important to our patients. Thank you for leaving your comments on NHS Choices. Patient Experience Team County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust Tel: 0800 7835774

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