"visit to A&E was not good"

About: Hillingdon Hospital

Our visit to A&E (11.30am Friday) opened up my eyes how difficult being in A&E actually was. Firstly, I was shocked how small it was. Patients had to sit on the floor e.g. there were 7 people with one patient and non of them wanted to move from the chairs. Staff should have interviened in this case and asked them to move. We were seen in half an hour by an amazing Dr. and soon after my daughter had a blood test. this is when it went really down hill for us!!! We came in at 11.30am on Friday by 1pm bloods have been taken and then we sat until 4pm when my daughter was in so much pain she became so distressed that we asked for cannula to be taken out and pain killers given. Only at this point we were taken seriously. A bed was made available in the AMU where she stayed the night. At this point her notes were lost and she didnt see the doctor until the next day - whole 24 hours later- this was the hardest part to understand that there were no doctors available to see her. During the two days and one night, her stay wasnt a pleasant one. Yes! the ward and toilets were clean, I observed how the beds and chairs were disinfected with every new patient, the food was to a good standard (but we dont expect Michelin stars in a hospital) and the very busy nurses did what they could -pleasant and polite at all times- under difficult conditions. I myself helped some patients in the ward when the nurses were not around/or too busy, with simple tasks! On the first night a distressed elederly lady (obviously suffering from dimentia) walked around the floor pulling a suitcase around shouting that her clothes were stollen and she was kept there against her will. On a number of occasions she was asked to leave our little ward by one of the relatives who was with his very sick mother, who was getting distressed by the shouting. Luckily this sick lady was moved to a proper ward. Then a very loud and rude family came in with a" unwell daughter" Their swearing was upsetting another patient, but at least the rude family after a while discharged themselves. The next morning a new patient came in who proceeded to drink three bottles of the sanitisers and was sick she also had a bottle of vodka that she drank from. All this time the nurses were professional! At this point it was Saturday 6pm ish and my daughter and I had, had enough and she refused to take any more painkillers as she wanted to stay awake as the alcoholic was a little unpredictable and there was no knowing what she was capable of! My daughter did not want to stay in hospital with this going on. I understand that there are sick people around-mentally and otherwise- but my one great concern was the lack of doctors. if more Dr's were available my daughters stay would of been a lot shorter and a lot less stressful. this isnt a complaint just an observation on how hard it is for the NHS, but changes must be made!

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Response from Hillingdon Hospital

Thank you for your taking the time to share your experience with us. Firstly we would like to apologise that you have had to raise your concern in this manner and we were unable to meet your needs when you visited our services. Unfortunately it is not possible to monitor the use of the waiting room chairs as two services share this waiting area (the urgent care centre and accident and emergency services) and as we work independently neither service would be aware of who was a patient and who was a visitor. Due to immense pressures for beds that day we were unable to allocate a bed earlier in the day and apologise most sincerely for this. Noreen Rice, Emergency Care Services Manager.

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