"Pointless visit to A&E"

About: Colchester General Hospital

I visited Colchester General Hospital following a car accident. I didn't call an ambulance at the time but drove myself to the hospital. I checked in at 7.30pm and triage by 8. Took blood pressure and temperature and told to wait for doctor. 3 hrs later to be told only 1 doctor on service and as a resuss patient had arrived they closed A&E as the gp couldn't see any patients. How can you run a service on 1 gp? Madness. I gave up having just seen triage. Awful experience and staff worse than useless. A&E currently in portacabin which is awesome when you feel dreadful too, cold, drafty and extra noisy! Why do I pay tax again?!

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Response from Colchester General Hospital

I apologise you’ve not had a good patient experience and we are very sorry to hear of your recent experience. We try really hard to improve our services based on the comments we receive from our patients, their relatives or carers. We would like to assure you that we take your comments very seriously, however we would like to assure you that A&E is never closed. We do have a supplementary GP service in the department which runs in tandem with the main service, this is in no way intended to replace the emergency service but is to provide additional services to the people of North Essex. We always ensure we prioritise our patients according to clinical need therefore there are times when a doctor may be pulled away from the Minor Injury area to support the resuscitation area in times of high demand. We appreciate your feedback as to the environment, the portacabin is part of the A&E waiting area and all main facilities are located in the main hospital building, this is a temporary measure prior to the redesign of the main department We hope you are recovering from your experience and apologise that you found the service lacking on this occasion. We would like the opportunity to discuss your experiences more fully and to apologise in person. If you are willing please email me, using the reference “Comment on Accident and emergency services 27/02/2015 23:17:10”, please? Many thanks Paul Searle, Head of Communications Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust info@colchesterhospital.nhs.uk

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