"Average and lenghty service at Royal Berks A&E"

About: Royal Berkshire Hospital

I was taken to Royal Berks A&E and arrived about 230am on Sunday March 8th. The issue was thought to be something due to a combination of medicines that I had been taking. The ambulance staff had my medicines and I vaguely heard them discussing this after I was wheeled in to A&E. Later, I asked various nurses to retrieve my medicines but nobody could find them - apparently lost. Why weren't they given back to me or at least bagged and left with my notes? I was given some free medicines to replace these as I normally pay for prescriptions so thank you at least for this. I was wheeled into a bay just by where the ambulances enter. Nobody came to see me at all. After some time, I was wheeled from there to another bay in majors unit - still A&E. Again nobody came to see me at all for some time. Finally a nurse came for some basic info. After 2 hours and lots more waiting, a doctor came. Blood test and ECG were ordered but all took time and should have been done much earlier. The nurse had trouble getting the ECG machine to work (the nurse was agency). Waiting for blood results took so much time waiting around . Chest X-ray was very quick and efficient. All in all 5 hours, of which 4 was spent waiting with no communication at all about what was happening. I understand it was night time and the doctor was very busy indeed, but please tell us what is going on. The job got done but it could have been so much better. As an outsider, the process improvements are there to see.

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Response from Royal Berkshire Hospital

We are sorry to hear about your experience in the Emergency Department. We need to ensure patients are kept informed of what is happening to reassure them and so they understand the reasons for any delays. The matron for the area will speak to staff on duty and reinforce the need for effective communication. With regards to your medications, it is correct that we take them from patients for safekeeping, but in this case it appears yours has been misplaced, which is unacceptable. The matron will remind staff of the importance of keeping patients' medicines safe while they are on the unit, so they can be returned on discharge.

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