"Treated like a waste of time"

About: Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital

Went to a&e last night, as directed by 111, as concerned I might be having a funny reaction to some medication which u had just started. Treated like a waste of time- very reliant on computer rather then patient symptoms. Felt like we had to fight our corner and defend ourselves against 'what the computer said' which is ridiculous. When we pointed out that the symptoms I was having only started after starting the new medication and that we'd then checked the patient information leaflet, and called 111 for advice, the staff member shared with us that patient information leaflets given with medication 'just list everything' - really?! Is that really a good message to be giving the public?! Having seen some very serious side effects in patients in my own field of work, this seems a flippant and potentially dangerous message. Ironically, I am a senior health care professional (nursing background) , also involved with the CQC- I'm no expert but I know full well the ins and outs of drug symptoms (which is why we were there) however felt so ill and the staff member was so dismissive I didn't feel it was worth getting into what would probably have been an argument given the attitude. As much as I hate the cheesy 6 C's, this department could do with refreshing themselves with them. I got pinged over to the HantsDoc service, who are usually really good, however whilst bedside manner was a bit better did not listen to any of my recent patient history had clearly decided I was the type of moron that attends a&e for a flu like illness (which I'm not- this is the first time I have used a&e in my life, and the third time I have used hants doc). I completely understand the massive workload and pressure on a&e staff, I am witness to this almost daily from the 'other side'. However the attitude towards patients was, on this occasion, dismissive and cynical. I would never want any of my family or friends treated in that way, as even if they attended a&e for a silly reason, I know that they would only attend if they were worried, scared and unwell- as the overwhelming majority of patients are. Staff in the department seem to constantly be congregating around the reception desk for a chat- in fact when I arrived they did not speak to me until finishing their social conversation (about a doctor trying to do something in relation to the labour ward). Is this really the 'professional image' the nhs is striving towards? Social chat first, patients second. Given that there is such as fuss about waiting times, it would do well to at least look professional and busy, and take these chats elsewhere (used to be only the nursing office where you could chat with colleagues off record- for good reason!). I hope that confidential conversations are not also happening in that area?

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Response from Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment on NHS Choices. I am sorry that your recent experience in our emergency department did not meet the high standards we aim to provide. I have informed the clinical leaders in the department, but if you wish to discuss your visit in more detail please contact our Customer Care team on 01256 486766 or email customercare@hhft.nhs.uk. Mary Edwards, Chief Executive Email: mary.edwards@hhft.nhs.uk