"Dreadful A&E experience"

About: The Royal Victoria Infirmary

One lunchtime I found my 94 year old mother-in-aw lying naked and bleeding on the floor of her bedroom in Jesmond where she had been lying all night. It took nearly 2 hours to get her to the RVI hospital in an ambulance and 4 hours waiting to be seen in A&E. At no time did any staff member ask if she needed anything and it was only after I requested a blanket for her that eventually one was provided until then she was sitting on a hard chair with nothing but a thin dressing gown and slippers. 2 hours later I was realy worried that she had not had anything to eat or drink for so long so I asked if she could have a drink - the answer was yes - the drinks machine took my money but only offered half a cup of cold black liquid instead of tea so I returned to the desk to ask for something for her to eat and drink half an hour later I had to go back again as nothing had been brought - we had been 'forgotten' a dry cheese sandwich and a luke warm cup of tea eventually arrived by which time she was hallucinating and seeing teddybears and flowers everywhere. When I told the desk that she was hallucinating I was told it was to be expected if she had been on the floor for so long as she probably had a kidney infection…I found her at lunchtime and it was after 9pm that she was seen by a doctor. I had to leave her wrapped in the blanket at 10pm when a bed had still not been found for her. The staff at the RVI A&E are overwhelmed - they do not have time to be kind or thoughtful - what a dreadful thing for them as well as their patients. Surely there is an urgent need for more A&E services in Newcastle if the staff are so overworked in the middle of the afternoon on a Tuesday - what must it be like at weekends or late at night? It is frightening and I am so grateful that I live near to Hexham where the A&E service is excellent and patients are treated with great kindness, care and respect.

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Response from The Royal Victoria Infirmary

Thank you taking the time to post your review on NHS Choices. We wish to apologise to you and your mother-in-law for her experience in the Emergency Department. We would also like to apologise that the care delivered was not to the standard we would expect from staff. Your comments have been fedback to the department. As you rightly observe, the department has been experiencing an increase in the number of patients with immediate and urgent health needs. We are currently waiting for newly appointed staff to take up post to assist in this increase in demand; however we would still expect that patients receive the necessary care and attention they need and once again, we apologise that there was a delay in providing refreshments and a blanket to your mother-in-law. Can we assure you that the nursing staff always aim to provide a high quality of care to the patients attending the department and are saddened to learn that this did not happen on this occasion. We take all feedback very seriously and will ensure that we learn from your comments. We do hope that your mother-in-law is recovering well after her fall.

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