"A&E inexperienced, inattentive staff"
About: North Devon District Hospital North Devon District Hospital Barnstaple EX31 4JB
Posted by Marion
My sister was admitted to A&E yesterday 8th December, brought in by ambulance at approx 11h45. I arrived at the hospital shortly afterwards. From the moment I spoke to Reception at A&E, receiving curt instructions to sit down, they did not know where my sister was but I was to sit down and wait & someone would be out to speak to me. Luckily the ambulance driver recognised me & came across to fill me in, otherwise no A&E staff came out. I took it upon myself after waitin for an anxious hour to walk across to A&E. The paramedic on duty said I could see my sister. this was 13h15 approx. My sister suffers from panic attacks and was in a state, no-one had given her any painkillers, zero attention in fact. (Apart from the ambulance driver who had put a dressing on her leg at the scene). I asked the paramedic what was going on: my sister had a deep laceration to her knee sustained in a fall that morning. She was in pain. After I had asked what was going on the paramedic said she would clean up the wound & proceeded to do so. What would have happened if I hadnt gone over? A nurse appeared & administered 2 paracetamol, saying my sister would need an x ray. I was told to sit down & wait. In this time, no-one tried to make her comfortable, reassure her. We had to listen to the various A&E staff 's conversations, v unprofessional as they made it clear they were not busy & could easily have attended to my sister, who was at that stage the only patient there bar one another man who was told to go home as he had sciatica & should go to his GP. In short, A&E was not busy. My sister was left unattended until approx 2.30 a junior doctor came round & washed out my sisters wound. It was only then that my sister was given an injection to numb the pain. The wound took a lot of cleaning & the doctor did it well. However, she disappeared about 3 times durijg the procedure, not saying when she would be back, or what was going on. Total lack of communciation. Zero bedside manner. When she had gone I asked other staff what was happening, (by now they were attending to other patients who had come in & who had not waited half as long as my sister had). The triage system at this hospital is seriously flawed. No-one could tell me where the doctor was who had treated my sister, they were offhand & unhelpful, seeming v inexperienced. When I asked if my sister was going to have an xray, the junior seeming doctor,when she came back, said it wasnt necessary. I said we would like one to make sure. The docor didnt respond to this, ignored me. At last a doctor came round who knew what he was doing, this was at 3pm, over 3 hrs since my sister had bn admitted. He seemed more senior & capable. He proceeded to stitch the wound instructing the other doctor. I asked him re xray, he said it was not necessary. We insisted we wanted it done as it had bn a bad fall, he did not respond to this. We were discharged frm A&E at 3.45to go to the pharmacy.