"5 hour wait with life threatening illness"

About: Medway Maritime Hospital

I had a pacemaker fitted at the Medway Hospital, which caused bleeding into the pericardium around my heart. I arrived at the hospital about 1900 hours the day after the pacemaker insertion, in severe pain. I was, after about two hours, sent to see a nurse in the MEDOCC department, who felt she could not help me. I returned to the seats in the A and E waiting area where I sat for another 3 hours. The pain was intensifying all this time, and I was on the point of collapse when I was finally called to be examined. Ultimately, I was transferred to St. Thomas's where the effusion was found to be bad enough to cause a partial collapse of one of the chambers of my heart. The staff did their level best, once I got onto a bed, but in my view, 5 hours without any real assessment or examination of what was the cause of this problem was far too long. I don't think this is a staff problem. It is difficult for them to work together effectively as I believe the systems you have are inappropriate to filter serious from minor matters.

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Response from Medway Maritime Hospital

Thank you for your comments. I am sorry for the waiting you experienced and would like to reassure you that we are dedicated to prioritising sick patients. We are looking at robust systems to further improve on this. Helen Runcorn Emergency Department Matron

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