"Sad reflection on this hospital....."

About: North Tyneside General Hospital

An elderly relative attended A & E in a state of pain and distress. After an initial assessment by a nurse, she was left in the waiting room for hours to be stripped of her dignity as she struggled with her pain in a public place. All the while, no check was made of her welfare. Equally as disappointing - and frustrating - was the lack of communication regarding waiting times....the scrappy notice pinned to the glass screen at reception, which looked as if it was a permanent fixture, hardly counts! It seems that the trust managing this hospital places great emphasis on corporate communication yet the simple task of keeping patients informed does not appear to come in to it. Having witnessed what I did on a quiet evening, I do have serious reservations as to the capacity and competence of this hospital - and how it would cope with a major incident, I just don't know. Two simple issues to address - 1) treat people with dignity 2) keep people informed. These are nothing to do with lack of money but all about a lack of management. I don't want platitudes in response though what would be good, if I have to attend this unit again, would be to see that action has been taken to ensure these two very basic human rights are afforded to everyone presenting for treatment at this hospital. Get it sorted!

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Response from North Tyneside General Hospital

Dear Sir/Madam Can I thank you for bringing this to our attention and I want say how genuinely sorry I am that you have left one of our hospitals feeling this way.  I was saddened to read your description of your elderly relative struggling with pain, unsupported in the waiting area. It is not what we'd want for our patients. It would really help us if we had more information from you. We need to understand more about what happened in order to act and improve in the way you would want us to. I do know that the team in A&E were making plans to install electronic signage to keep patients informed of expected waiting times. I will of course share your experience with the team to reinforce the need for this to be completed as soon as possible. Please get in touch with me directly at annie.laverty@nhct.nhs.uk With best wishes, Annie

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