"staff let down by system"

About: Stepping Hill Hospital

I attended A+E with my 88 year old Mum with a referral from our GP. Initial triage was good no doubt assisted by the letter provided by our GP. Staff that we eventually saw were through, considerate, treated my mum with respect and endeavoured to communicate with her despite her severe hearing loss, she received a treatment plan and we eventually went home. However I would say that to wait from 6.30pm to 11.30pm in a general waiting area is really not acceptable for elderly patients. The seating is uncomfortable, there is nowhere to buy food which doesn't come from a vending machine once the shop shuts at 7pm and the behavior of the other patients can leave a lot to be desired some thinking that a trip to A+E is a trip out. Older people are generally very undemanding and as a result their needs tend to be ignored. It would be better if there were a specific location for the older person with more suitable seating and refreshment provision, where they can wait in a less stressful environment. This is NOT a criticism of the staff who have to put up with a lot and perform extremely well given the low numbers employed in A+E and the budgetary restrictions they face. I just feel that with a rapidly ageing population more consideration needs to be given to their particular needs when they attend A+E.

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Response from Stepping Hill Hospital

Thank you for your comments. I am pleased that our ED staff were thorough and considerate, but I am sorry to read your comments about the general ED environment. I will pass your comments to the staff in charge of the department and also to our Head of Facilities, so that they can consider your suggestions. Thank you for providing your feedback and I hope that your mum is recovering well. Kieren Done Complaints and Customer Service Team Manager

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