"Very rude streaming nurse"

About: Queen's Medical Centre

I went to A&E as I couldn't bear another day of pain and restlessness due to my influenza. I know there's nothing they can give me as it is a viral condition but I was feeling sooo terrible that I braved the waiting time and not to mention that it's Christmas Day. I couldn't breath properly and my head felt like it was going to explode. I thought seeing a doctor and having my lungs checked will put my mind at ease. We were called in by a Streaming Nurse and assessed in a room. Before even finishing all the symptoms I have, she said "in short, you have flu. That's just flu. You shouldn't be here. You should be resting in bed". After checking all my vital signs, she said "you can go now or do you still want to see anyone?" I said I do want to see the doctor and she told us where to go. I felt so bad after that incident. She made me feel like I just went there just for fun. I have never been to A&E and this was the first time I've been as I was feeling very, very ill. I work as staff nurse too in a private hospital and attitude like this will not be tolerated. I guess that's why a lot of patients have complained about staff attitude in QMC, now I have experienced it.

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Response from Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust

Thank you for taking the time to write and share your concerns about the member of staff you saw in the Emergency Department (ED) on Christmas Day. We are sorry to hear that you felt the nurse who treated you was rude to you in explaining that you did not need to be attending ED with your illness. Our behavioural standards for everyone make clear to our staff that they are expected to be polite, helpful and informative to all patients, visitors and colleagues, and we are sorry that you feel that on this occasion the nurse did not meet those standards.

Although we do not refuse to see any patient attending ED, there are times when attending ED is not the appropriate way for patients to access health care services, and we do have a duty to make the public aware of alternative ways that they can access health care services which are more appropriate. Rather than attending ED, patients who have illnesses which are not emergencies, but are unable to see their GP, can telephone the NHS 111 advice line or attend one of the NHS walk-in centres in Nottingham (which are open 365 days a year). We do explain this to patients who have attended ED when they did not need to be there, so they are better-informed in future of the best way for them to access the right health care services for their needs.

We ask our patients to stay away from ED unless it is a real emergency so we can concentrate our efforts on the patients who most need our care.