"Confused in A&E"

About: St Helier Hospital

I think you need to a market research study on the A&E / Out of Hours Doctors waiting area. I called 111 and had a scheduled appointment with the OOHD. My husband dropped me off and asked me to find out how long I would be. There is no one you can ask. There is not even an obvious reception point. There are two small signs at the centre of the walk-way, but they did not even attract my attention at first. When I finally found them, I read "For OOHD services, wait here and you will be called". I assumed they meant they would call me by name, so I sat down and waited. It was 20 minutes before I figured out the system, and that I was actually supposed to stand by the sign. If you have never used the A&E before, it is very patient UNfriendly. I can only imagine how helpless walk-ins feel when there is actually an emergency. There is no obvious 'Reception'. If no other improvements are made, at least have the small signs by the chairs say "Queue here." At least that would indicate that you shouldn't sit down.

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Response from St Helier Hospital

Thank you very much for your feedback. We’re very concerned to hear that you are so dissatisfied with your experience in A&E. We are currently developing entirely new signage and mapping to make both our hospitals more easily navigable for our patients and visitors. We have put our patients at the heart of this process to help inform decision making, and we would really value your feedback as well. If you are interested in taking part, could you please contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Services (PALS) team on 020 8296 2508 or by email at pals@esth.nhs.uk? This will also allow us to discuss some of the other issues you have raised.

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