"excessive waiting time"

About: Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital (Wonford)

Went in with my 8 year old daughter at 7:00 pm ish on a Thursday evening. She had, it seemed , been knocked unconscious after a fall in our house. NHS 111 directed me to go to A&E. Triage within 20 mins or so, which is great. At which point I'm guessing we were ranked as a low priority. It would have been very useful to know this - we could have decided to go home at that point. 4 hours later nothing..... 4 hours.... every single person who was there when we arrived has been in and seen to. They probably were more urgent - I understand this. My daughter is in tears with stress and tiredness. She hasn't eaten any dinner. 11:30pm we asked at reception what was happening and they we were intending to go home. We were told 'hang on 2 mins'. I am being precise with these words. 20 mins later still no word. We go home. So it's busy - I get that. We were a low priority - I get that. It seems we were never going to be seen within an hour or so. If I'd known that I'd have gone home and made my daughter comfortable. All we got were vague statements like 'we're busy tonight'. This Is the irritating bit. I understand any estimated wait period will be imprecise. But there is a massive difference between an hour or so, and several hours. If I'd been given that information I would have turned around and left without bothering anyone.

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Response from Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital (Wonford)

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience when you attended the Emergency Department at this hospital with your daughter. I am sorry to hear of your concerns. I understand you have already been in contact with the Trust regarding your experience. Please be assured we will be looking into your concerns and will respond to you fully once we have received further information. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact the Patient Engagement and Experience Team on (01392) 402363 or (01392) 403915, should you have any further queries.

Response from Rebecca McGuffog, Patient Engagement and Experience Officer, Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience of the Emergency Department. I am sorry to hear of your concerns regarding the waiting time you and your daughter experienced. We are currently awaiting further information and, once we have received this, will be able to look into your concerns. Please do not hesitate to contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on (01392) 402093 should you wish to discuss your concerns further.

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Response from Rebecca McGuffog, Patient Engagement and Experience Officer, Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust We have made a change

Further to our previous response, I can now provide the following. Firstly may I apologise unreservedly for the experience that you have described and I sincerely hope that you daughter is recovering well. I have asked the management team within the Emergency Department to look into these issues. They have highlighted a number of improvements that can be made in relation to improving communication and improving information for patients about waiting times. In addition they will look at our processes for monitoring waiting times from initial assessment for children. The management team have spoken to the reception staff, nurses and doctors to ensure that there is improved communication, that we ensure that children do not wait longer than is absolutely necessary and that care is taken to ensure children are comfortable while they wait. I would like to thank you for sharing this experience as we can ensure that we will use this to improve our services and I will ensure that we monitor our improvements.

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