"A & E Target times put undue pressure on staff"

About: University Hospital Of North Durham

I was admitted to A & E today as I have severe life threatening allergic reactions. To treat these I am prescribed Epi-Pens (adrenalin) which I use. After using an Epi-Pen, it is recommended that I should call 999 and be observed for at least 6 hours before being discharged. While I was at A & E, the staff were concerned that my stay would have an impact on their performance, and I overheard one suggest that I should be discharged to an observation ward after 4 hours. In the end they decided not to do so as there was little point in doing the additional paper work of transferring me for no good clinical reasons. I commend them for their decision. While targets are useful to measure qualities of service provided, they can, at times be rather crude and produce unintended conditions. They may end up putting the needs of administrators before patients. The staff were professional and friendly in the way they treated me during my visit and I would be happy to recommend the department to my friends and family.

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Response from University Hospital Of North Durham

Thank you for providing feedback on your recent visit to A&E at the University Hospital of North Durham I am very pleased to hear that you had a positive experience and that you are happy with the care you received, although your comments on the targets that have to be used in the department have also been noted. The Trust is grateful for all feedback, positive or negative, as it means we can better understand what is important to our patients, and your kind comments will be shared with the Matron to pass on to the staff on your behalf. I know they will be encouraged by your positive comments. Thank you for leaving your comments on NHS Choices. Patient Experience Team County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust Tel: 0800 7835774

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