"Experience of NHS 111 and A&E"

About: Croydon University Hospital / Accident and emergency Harmoni / NHS 111

(as the patient),

About a week before Christmas I was having difficulty breathing and called 111.

The person who answered the call took all my details – why is the first question about your age? I feel as if they want to write me off even before I have begun! I also felt there needed to be someone with a medical background to answer the call as it then took quite a while for them to decide whether I should be called back and the next action that needed to be taken.

However, I did get a call back and a doctor also came to see me. He decided I really needed to be in hospital, particularly as he did not have any oxygen to give me for my breathing difficulty. He insisted I was so poorly I needed to go in an ambulance so that I would be seen immediately and not kept waiting in the A&E unit.

Whilst in A&E the doctor came to take some blood. I explained I had small veins and would need a butterfly but he went ahead without this and had a real job getting the needle in. I ended up with a very badly bruised arm which could have been prevented,

I was later moved to the AMU ward where I was given tablets to reduce the fluids in by body. As a result I needed a commode which was fine. However, it was not emptied and when I needed the commode again I ended up using the same one again and it overflowed. This was both embarrassing and unnecessary.

Whilst not wishing to complain the food was always stone cold. I really could have done with one hot meal a day, even the porridge was cold,

I cannot fault the people on the ward, they were all very kind and caring.

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Response from Graham Richardson, Deputy Manager, PALS and Complaints, Croydon Health Services NHS Trust

Dear Late5

I am sorry to learn of the problems you encountered during your time at Croydon University Hospital and I am grateful that you took the time to let us know. I have passed on your comments to the A&E and AMU teams, and have also let the catering team know of your experience.

I am pleased that our ward staff looked after you well and I hope you are now feeling much better.

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