"My father passed away before we got a chance to say goodbye to him"

About: Nevill Hall Hospital / Accident and emergency

(as a relative),

My father was admitted to Nevill Hall A & E by ambulance on 27 June 2009 after collapsing at home. I rang the ambulance and explained that my father had collapsed suddenly and was vomiting and sweating profusely, they were more interested in what my mobile number was! My brother travelled in the ambulance with my father while I went straight to A & E with my mother. My father was having a heart attack. On leaving the ambulance my brother was told to wait in the waiting room and that someone would be with us soon. We waited and waited and not wanting to be a nuisance we waited even more until eventually after 2 1/2 hours I knocked on the window at reception as we were literally sick with worry. The nurse was very, very curt and said "Excuse me but we're very busy, we've had four ambulances in tonight!!!" to which I replied "yes, I understand but my father was in one of them". She then said she'd get someone to tell us what was going on. Half an hour later a nurse finally appeared and took my mother away. She thought she was going to see my father but she was taken to another room while the Doctor explained that my father had, had a heart attack. She was then sent back into the waiting room without seeing dad. We were then left for almost another hour before a nurse finally came and called all the family. Sadly, my father passed away before we got a chance to say goodbye to him. He was 68.

I understand that the department was extremely busy that night, my daughter is a third year nursing student so we appreciate the difficulties the staff encounter but surely someone could have spared just five minutes to tell us what was happening, especially as the ambulance crew had said that he was having a heart attack and that we were all sick with worry.

Treat others as you would like yourself to be treated I say. I'm sure if one of their parents had been ignored as we were they would have a different opinion of how they deal with people, especially those who are frightened and overwhelmed with grief!

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