"Experience of SAU"

About: East Surrey Hospital / General surgery

(as the patient),

I was in the SAU lounge are from 9pm_1: 30 am on Saturday night, 10am-6pm on Sunday and 1pm-9pm on Wednesday until I was moved to the day surgery unit and was taken for my appendix to be removed.

On Sat and Sun I was ignored by the nurses all day they had no interest in keeping me updated with what was going on and when I would get to see a doctor. On Saturday night I was sent to SAU by the doctor at the crawley urgent treatment centre with suspected appendicitis who had phoned ahead and told the surgeon to expect me.

I sat in the waiting area for 5 hours before seeing a doctor. I told the nurse when I arrived that I needed pain relief but was not given any until hours later when I couldn't stop crying from the pain. The doctor finally came 5 hours later and sent me home as there were no beds and he didnt want me to have to sit in the lounge all night but told me to come back between 10 and 12 the following day to be seen again before it got busy.

On Sunday I arrived at 10 and my bloods were taken by the nurse at about 11. I was then left sitting in the lounge until 3 when a doctor finally turned up. He examined me and told me that he couldn't make a diagnosis until he had my blood results. I asked why they were not back yet as they had been done 4 hours ago and he said that no one had taken my bloods to the lab and they had been left on the side all day! He said it would be about an hour for the results-3 hours later they finally came back and I was sent home again after sitting for 8 hours in the lounge.

During this time I was visibly upset and in a lot of pain and not once did a single nurse acknowledge me or tell me what was going on or how long the doctor would be or offer me any pain relief and I cannot understand how when they could see me sitting there all day they could forget to take my bloods down, especially as I had suspected appendicitis and the bloods were therefore very important!

The doctor told me to come back on Weds at 1: 30 for an ultrasound which I did. After the scan I sat in the lounge again until about 4: 30 when a doctor came. He asked me if I had had any bloods taken that day and was clearly frustrated that I hadn't and that the nurses again had just left me sitting there without doing anything. He said he wanted to do a laparoscopy as the pain had not improved at all since I first came in on Saturday night. He told the nurses to admit me, do my bloods and prepare me for surgery. I sat in the lounge until 9pm when I was finally moved up to the day surgery unit where I was prepared and had my surgery and stayed overnight. The consultant Mr Monkhouse and the nurses in the Day surgery unit were fantastic and I was so glad to be away from SAU and I hope I never have to go back there again I feel I was treated so badly. It turned out I did have appendicitis and my appendix was removed that night.

I don't understand how you can ignore a patient for 8 hours and not even try to keep them updated on what is going on. I understand that the doctors are very busy but the nurses in this ward were not and spent plenty of time at the desk just ignoring everyone in the lounge. I also do not understand how they could forget to take my bloods down when I was sat in front of them meaning I had to sit there for 8 hours in total that day.

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Response from Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust

Dear gemini1983

I am really sorry to read about your experience and would like to look into the issues you have raised, please do get in touch with me at branita.mills@sash.nhs.uk.

kind regards


Matron Elective Surgery

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