"7 hour wait to see doctor"

About: Birmingham Children's Hospital

I was at the A&E in the early hours of Saturday morning for a head injury for my daughter. There was a 7 hour wait to see a doctor! I could not believe this. The waiting room is a dismal, cold, miserable place at that hour of the morning, full of children and parents trying to get some rest on the uncomfortable chairs. 7 hours is a working day - how can people be expected to wait that long? The staff were resigned and unhelpful. As I had my other daughter with me, I had to make the decision to go home, observe my daughter myself and call 111. I would like to have an explanation of this.

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Response from Birmingham Children's Hospital

Hello, I am sorry you have experienced delays and the care was not as you would expect it to be when you attended our Emergency Department on Saturday, for which we apologise. I offer you the folllowing explanation not as an excuse but I hope to explain the current situation we are facing. Over the last 2 weeks we have seen an unprecedented number of patients attend ED. This has been significantly higher than previous years. The high numbers continued into this week, and on Monday (1 December) we saw a record 223 attendances, which was 10% higher than the numbers we saw last week, which were 204 Overall, we are seeing an increase of 40% more patients that usual, and at times the figures have been 60% higher than normal and there has also been a substantial rise in the number of children admitted by our General Paediatric team. We do recognise that this has meant the experience of some of our families, like your self has been affected. In response to this the Trust are taking extraordinary measures to address this as best as we can: • We have opened up more beds on the wards; • We are keeping all of our day beds open overnight; • We have since Thursday, last week, cancelled all non-urgent work and will continue with this plan for this week and probably next week too. • Lastly, our staff are putting in extra hours in ED and on the wards (to keep the beds open) to help us keep BCH safe and open. I hope this provides some explanation but if you would prefer to discuss the matter further in person we would be very happy to do so and I would ask you to contact: Alex Borg, Associate Service Director for Medicine and Deputy Chief Operating Officer Tel: 01213339452 Mobile: 07920743306 With kind regards, Janette Vyse, Lead for Patient Exeperience

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