"A tale of two halves A&E and Juniper ward"

About: Darent Valley Hospital

Earlier this week I had to take my son to A&E after the Gp had become concerned about a potential infection. On arrival despite not being able to sit, feeling faint, being tachycardic, and clearly unwell he was told to take a seat and I was told just let him fall if he passes out. For almost an hour I had to support my son while he tried to stand and wait. The triage Hca made it very clear that there were no trollies and suggested that he lay across two chairs which we tried even though he is nearly 6 foot tall. I had to use a coat as a pillow and his sweat top as a blanket, because he was clearly going into shock. Even after being seen twice by Drs he was sent back to the waiting area to 'sit' and wait for bloods and the IV antibiotics. Only when these were put up was he offered a trolley 4 hours after we had first arrived. I understand that the department is under strain but this was clearly a young man in extreme pain Who received little or no care or monitoring whilst in A&E despite having a sustained high heart rate and as it later turned out a BP that was starting to drop to concerning levels. All in all his experience in A&E was poor to say nothing of being extremely distressing for him. Once he had been taken to juniper (no handover was done by the two HCAs) the staff on the ward did his obs quickly got him settled and made sure he had appropriate pain relief. All the staff who looked after my son both pre and post op were brilliant, gentle and caring. We are both very appreciative of their care. Perhaps the staff in A&E could learn some lessons from then about what patient care is meant to be. There is little point in making this an official complaint as inevitably the trust will support their staff even to point of suggesting that elements of what has been written here are untrue.

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Response from Darent Valley Hospital

We were very sorry to read of how unhappy you were with your son's treatment when he visited our A&E Department recently, this is clearly not the sort of service expected or to which we aspire. Equally though it was pleasing to read that his treatment on Juniper Ward was brilliant, gentle and caring. With regards to your A&E comments, we would very much like to investigate the matters you have raised. So please would you be kind enough to contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALs) on 01322 428383 or email pals@dvh.nhs.uk with further details. Thank you The Communications Team Darent Valley Hospital

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