"Lack of reassurance in Hull A&E"

About: Hull Royal Infirmary / Accident and emergency

(as a relative),

My dad was taken into A&E with chronic head and back pain. He was in agony and it was very hard for my mum and me to watch. After a 2 hour wait he was given morphine for the pain which did relieve his pain. What shocked my mum and myself was the lack of communication between staff and patient/relatives. We were left for hours not knowing what was happening. My dad was taken for a scan and later a CT scan - again no one explained what the tests were or how long results would take.

My dad was in a small room on the A&E in which there was a bottle of someone else's urine left without a lid on. I eventually asked for it to be removed. My dad vomited and a nurse came and helped him change. The vomit had gone onto the floor and the nurse just wiped it with tissue using her shoe. We didn't feel this was very hygienic.

Several staff entered my dad's room without knocking to warn they were about to enter. One nurse I felt was very rude as my dad had finally got to sleep and some much needed break from his pain and the nurse came in and quickly he was taken onto the bright ward without them waiting for him to wake up so they could explain where he was going, the nurse just abruptly told him to put his arm in as it would get knocked. My dad woke up en route and looked shocked. I am appalled that someone who is feeling so poorly can be treated like this. I know how overstretched the nurses and doctors are but its the little touches of human kindness that seem to be severely lacking.

Later my dad went to the acute assessment ward where he was still on a trolley bed, which his legs were too long for. We assumed he would be found a bed but was later told he would be spending the night on this trolley bed (we desperately wished we could take him home). Again there was very little communication and my mum said "it's like being invisible". Often patients were referred to as bed numbers and not people.

My dad asked for water which didn't come and a cup of tea later which again didn't come. We had been at the hospital since 2pm and by 9pm no member of staff had asked if he needed the loo (as he couldn't walk without support he couldn't go on his own). When the night staff came on they did seem a bit more friendly and a tea and snacks trolley came around at 8pm.

We left at 9pm worried how my dad would be treated overnight. He didn't have a buzzer on his trolley so would have to shout if he required any assistance.

We dont know what is wrong with my dad but I know and feel that there was no "TLC" and kindness waiting for him at the hospital. Again I understand that the medical staff are very busy but I feel that an auxilliary could communicate progress and check on patients more often, rather than them being left feeling scared and invisible. My dad said this morning that he felt terrified. I hate to think how patients feel who have no familiy or friends there to support them on entry into hospital. I am hoping that if and when he goes to a ward he will be kept more informed and comfortable.

We didn't feel able to complain as we didn't want to compromise my dad's care.

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Response from Engagement Section Assistant, NHS Hull

Dear Marsha First and foremost can we apologise for the delay in replying to your posting, this is due to some communication errors, which have now been sorted out. NHS Hull is the organisation responsible for deciding how money is spent on local health services [also known as commissioning], ensuring those services are of high quality and meet local needs. Therefore, all feedback on services is important to us and your comments will be used as part of the monitoring of these services. We are very concerned to hear about your father’s experiences at Hull Royal Infirmary and, of course, your own as his family. We have asked our colleagues at Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust to investigate the concerns you have raised and we will ensure their response is placed on this website. However, we are certain that they would wish to undertake as thorough an investigation as possible and would be grateful for some more information. We would encourage you to contact their Patient Advice & Liaison Service on either 01482 623065 or by email. Your contact would be dealt with in the strictest confidence and please be reassured it would not impact on the care received by your father. As the commissioners of service we do value all feedback and if you would like to discuss this further with our Patient Advice & Liaison Service please telephone them on 01482 335409 or by email. Thank you once again for taking the time to provide us with your views.
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