"Blood test"

About: Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital (Wonford)

I visited the A&E at around 9pm on 04/01/15, managed to see the triage within 30 minutes for a case of severe "rashes", and did not see a doctor till past midnight, and the doctor could not determine what kind of "rashes" I had. Meanwhile, the receptionist could not give me a rough estimate as to how long I had to wait, and I ended up spending around 4 hours, and did not get a proper diagnosis to the cause of my "rashes". The doctor however, suggested a blood test, which I did, and it has been over a week, and there are significant bruising on my arm that has not subsided, this is definitely a substandard job, as a usual blood test would not result in bruising. The bruises on my hand has been getting worse and I have to make another trip to the doctors, which is a complete waste of time. I understand that there might have been others that required immediate attention, but there was no estimate waiting time and in the end I did not know why I had the "rashes" or what I could do to help my situation, instead, I got a bruised arm. Even if healthcare is free, I don't think they should have did such an unprofessional job, they might as well not open to serve patients if that is the case, because not only did it not help the patient, it made things worse.

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Response from Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital (Wonford)

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience of your attendance to the Emergency Department at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital. I am sorry to hear that you felt that the service you received at your recent visit to the Emergency Department was unprofessional. As you will be aware, the Emergency Department has been very busy and so some patients have had longer waits that we would aspire to. The process that you describe is one where patients are triaged as soon as possible after their arrival, during this assessment their condition is prioritised for review, with those needing more urgent attention obviously being seen more quickly. I am sorry that the receptionist was not able to provide you with a more informed guide as to how long you might wait to be seen. We have asked the team to look at improved systems for keeping our patients up to date when waiting times are longer than expected. In terms of your clinical care, obviously we cannot provide specific information. However, we would be happy to do so if you contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) team. We have asked one of the Emergency Department Consultants to review your concerns and they have advised that often a diagnosis is difficult to make in the Emergency Department and frequently involves ruling out serious pathology or disease, without ever establishing a definitive diagnosis. Whilst most rashes are fairly benign, some can represent serious disease and it is vital to exclude these. Whilst a definitive diagnosis has not been made, it would appear that all significant pathology requiring urgent admission or treatment has been excluded. Taking blood involves the insertion of a needle into a vein. Bruising and bleeding are recognised complications. They do not necessarily reflect the skill of the practitioner performing the test and are almost always self-limiting and will resolve spontaneously. I hope that this explanation helps you to understand your experience and I thank you for highlighting to us the opportunity of improving our communication to patients around waiting times. If you would like us to look into your specific case in more detail please do not hesitate to contact the PALS team on (01392) 402093.