"Absolutely awful A&E visit"

About: Conquest Hospital

Arrived at a&e at 4AM Monday morning. Checked in once the receptionist had finished a social call despite being in extreme pain, shaking and crying. Waiting time was 2 hours when we arrived. Saw nurse after an hour who was very considerate. Back in the waiting room and we waited for 4 more hours before my partner broke and asked what was going on. By this point I was in so much pain I could barely stay conscious. Was given codeine and made to wait another hour. Eventually seen by doctor who took blood for tests. Asked for an honest time expectancy for results. Told 45 minutes, waited 2 hours and only got results because I went to find the doctor myself. Referred on to an xray which was processed quickly however back to a&e and again I had to find the doctor myself. Additionally, the whole 'patients seen in order of priority' is rubbish. I arrived, shaking with extreme pain while sobbing and I was seen after a homeless man who by his own admission didn't really want to see a doctor and was there to sleep. He even told them he didn't want to see a doctor and went in, came back out, saw a doctor and then was told to leave but slept on the chairs while we waited another 4 hours to see a doctor. All in all it took 8 hours to be referred on to another clinic and given strong painkillers. The receptionists present when I left at noon were helpful, considerate and kept us informed. The receptionist who was there at 4AM was rude, uncommunicative, brash and trivialised my pain.

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Response from Conquest Hospital

We are sorry to read about your experience in the A&E department at the Conquest hospital early on Monday morning. Along with many other Trusts we are currently experiencing a high amount of emergencies and have been for the last few days. This has caused significant delays for patients attending the A&E departments. We apologise that your personal experience was poor and we are particularly concerned by your comments regarding the attitude of the receptionist and overall organisation of service during the night shift of 15th December. This was clearly not in keeping with our commitment to provide a high quality service to patients. We would like to assure you that we take all comments very seriously and have forwarded your posting to the reception manager and general manager for A&E to take appropraite action. If at all possible we would also like the opportunity to speak with you to gather more information to enable A&E staff to look into what happened in more detail. If you are willing to do this, please contact our Patient Advice & Liaison Service (PALS) and they will liaise with Trust staff. PALS can be contacted on 01424 758090 or by email at esh-tr.PALSH@nhs.net. Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback. You may also wish to consider providing feedback to Healthwatch East Sussex who are your independent consumer champion for health and social care. They would also like to hear from people about their experiences. The role of healthwatch is to make sure your views and feedback are heard and affect the decisions made by the people who deliver your services. You can contact Healthwatch by phone: 0333 101 4007, text: 0779 410 0409, email: enquiries@healthwatcheastsussex.co.uk or visit the website www.healthwatcheastsussex.co.uk

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