"5 1/2 hour wait in A&E after being brought in via ambulance"

About: Pilgrim Hospital / Accident and emergency

(as the patient),

I had a sharp stabbing pain through the right side of my head followed by numbness and tingling in my head, face, arm and leg. I rang 111 as I have a family history of stroke and have been hospitalised previously for a "temporary brain shutdown" due to excessive stress. I spent a week on the stroke ward recovering.

An ambulance arrived, checked me over and suggested I went to get checked over to rule everything out. Although my blood pressure and pulse were ok my blood sugar was 3. 9.

I arrived to an incredibly full A&E department (most were elderly) so I expected a wait but assumed since I arrived via ambulance I would be seen to relatively quickly.

I was called to the triage room to be checked over by a nurse who seemed to be very tired and overworked and somewhat lacked the "caring personality" a triage nurse should have. I was asked matter of factly what the problem was and when I mentioned I was awaiting an operation to remove my gallbladder in a week she told me, an already very stressed and worried patient, keep your fingers crossed love, there's no beds!

I had already been waiting since September for this surgery and it has been cancelled twice. (That's another story)

I was rushed back to the A&E waiting room where it was said there could be a 4 1/2 waiting time. I was prepared to wait but again being brought in via ambulance I thought it would take a little less time.

After being asked if I had taken any painkillers I said no. I was never offered anything.

I then continued to sit and wait, sit and wait, and sit and wait. Within this time there were several people being called in. I thought it would be me soon. I was getting more and more stressed and worried. I am normally a very patient kind person but I was growing more and more agitated and worried.

I finally went up to reception where I was told I was next to last in the queue.

I waited a further 30 to 45 minutes, stressed and worried to the point of leaving. I left around 4: 30 am. I still don't know what was/is wrong with me.

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Response from United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust

Dear AH35

I am sorry to hear of your wait in A+E. Could you please contact me on 01205 445029 so that I may discuss your care with you and address any on-going care needs you have.


Michael Brunton

Matron Emergency Care

Pilgrim Hospital