"Experiencing A&E on a Saturday"

About: South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust / Emergency ambulance William Harvey Hospital / Accident and emergency

(as the patient),

I was taken by ambulance to A&E on a Saturday arriving about 5. 30am. The ambulance crew were kind and reassuring. A&E was extremely busy when we arrived but I was soon allocated a cubicle and wired up to a machine which was monitoring vital signs especially heart beat. Both the night staff nurse and the day staff nurse who were responsible for my care were both caring and professional explaining to me what was happening. I saw three doctors each one taking time to make sure I understood what was happening and what the treatment plan entailed.

All the time more people were arriving and beds were added to the centre of the ward, but each person was calmly attended to, assessed, sent for tests, treated and discharged or admitted to a ward. In spite of the number there was calm even when one patient started crying out and another was violently sick. One of the visitors pressed an alarm button and doctors and nurses alike responded which was very impressive.

In treating me their target of 4 hours went out the window as they decided to keep me on A&E and complete my treatment there rather than transfer me to a ward or CDU. For this I am extremely grateful. They missed their target by 7 hours but I received the treatment I needed. I hope somehow that is reflected in the statistics.

I have nothing but admiration for doctors, nurses and porters. Thank you all so much you are appreciated and I am very grateful for my treatment last Saturday.

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Response from Julie Pearce, Chief Nurse + Director of Quality + Operations, East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you so much for your feedback, I am glad to hear that you were happy with your treatment even though you were in the department for a number of hours.

We were very busy on Saturday and the whole weekend, so our staff did really well to continue to care for patients under difficult circumstances. I will ensure your comments are fedback to staff. I do hope you are making a full recovery from your illness.

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Response from Louise Hutchinson, Patient Experience Lead, South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust

Dear ‘grateful lady’

I wanted to respond to thank you for taking the time to provide such positive feedback about all aspects of your care on Saturday, and for making special mention of the ambulance crew. As you will know, having to call an ambulance can be very worrying and upsetting, and I was pleased to hear that the ambulance crew were kind and reassuring, which is exactly what patients and their families need.

We know that our staff provide a wonderful service on a daily basis, but it is very special to them when patients and relatives take the time to thank them for their skills and kindness. If you would like me to pass on your comments to the specific staff concerned, and if you have time, do contact me and I will happily do so (louise.hutchinson@secamb.nhs.uk).

Thank you again and I do hope you are recovering well from this episode.

Yours sincerely, Louise Hutchinson

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Response from William Harvey Hospital

You have described a very busy A&E, but I am so glad that you received the care and attention you needed. Thank you very much for your kind comments about all the staff involved with your care.

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