"Where are the NHS core values in practice?"

About: Colchester General Hospital

We had to take our daughter to A & E with suspected appendicitis, we arrived at 10.30pm and she was not moved onto an assessment unit until 10.30am the next morning. She was in a lot of pain but everyone was so busy we had to ask for her to have some pain relief. There was a HCA who 3 times tried to put a band on her that said she was allergic to certain medications. At no time was she asked how she was, did she need a drink of water. The care of the overstretched Doctors was in all fairness excellent but communication of nursing staff was dismal and we felt as a family they really didn’t’ give a dam. I know that is a very harsh thing to say but that is how we felt. It does not take a lot for a word of kindness to a very anxious patient and more anxious parents. As the parents no matter how old your child is it’s terrifying to be in a situation where you think they are being forgotten. At the end of the night she was put into a small room in a & e and did not want us to leave her as she felt she would be forgotten. There was another patient who came storming into her room which made her feel exceptionally vulnerable, again this is frightening it apparently happened whilst the security were on hand over, surely there is something in place for when this happens. She did the next morning go to an assessment unit and was then transferred to a surgical ward where she was operated on at 9.30pm. It turned out not to be appendicitis but an ovarian cyst which is receiving on going treatment. The care she received on the ward was excellent but again you do feel that everyone is over stretched and that if you ask something you are bothering them. I must say that the ward clerk on the surgical ward was the rudest person I have met in a long time and if they were a member of my staff I would insist that they did some more training in their man management skills. I am sorry this is so damming but what frightens me is that I am now scared in case anyone else in our family becomes ill. I do have to reiterate the excellent treatment from all the Doctors that she saw.

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Response from Colchester General Hospital

I apologise you and your daughter have not had a good patient experience. We try really hard to improve our services based on the comments we receive from our patients, their relatives or carers. You raise several issues which I would want to be addressed by the senior teams in the Trust. What you describe should not have happened and I'm also sorry you were treated in such a rude way by the ward clerk. We would like the opportunity to discuss your experiences more fully and to apologise in person. If you are willing I would appreciate it if I could ask the matron to contact you. Could you email me, using the reference “Comment on Accident and emergency services 17/04/2015 11:19:07”, please? Many thanks Paul Searle, Head of Communications Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust info@colchesterhospital.nhs.uk

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