"medical care was good but experience could be improved"
About: Northwick Park Hospital / Accident and emergency Northwick Park Hospital Accident and emergency Harrow HA1 3UJ Northwick Park Hospital Urgent Care Centre Northwick Park Hospital Urgent Care Centre Harrow HA1 3UJ
Posted by Dizzy patient (as ),
Having become dizzy and collapsed at home in the night, I phoned NHS 111 who advised me to visit the Urgent Care Centre. At the reception (which was in the A&E) I had to stand in a queue waiting for half an hour to be triaged because there was no nurse at reception. Eventually I was told that I would be seen by A&E instead. I don't know how long the wait would have been, because I then started to feel dizzy and nearly collapsed again, so they took me through to a nurse to be assessed (I guess that's one way to bypass the queue! ). I was then asked to sit in a waiting area, however as I was then starting to feel dizzy just by sitting up, I was put in a cubicle.
I was then waiting in a cubicle for over 4 hours, still having not seen a doctor yet. Eventually, in the morning, I was assessed by a doctor, whom I felt was very professional and thorough in the tests he carried out on me. I was told all my tests were normal, and eventually I started feeling better, and therefore could be discharged, although I did not receive a diagnosis. Unfortunately one of the tests caused me to vomit in the cubicle, and in the approx 3-4 hours between this and my discharge, nobody was available to clean it up. I hope they cleaned it before the next patient came in!
I was in A&E for about 8 hours in total, which is double the four hour target for A&E. I would be less concerned about this if I had had a complex serious illness which took more than four hours to diagnose or if I was under observation, but as over half my visit to A&E was spent waiting in A&E without having seen a doctor yet, I feel that had I been assessed sooner, I could have been discharged sooner.
A few weeks following my visit to A&E, I received a call from my GP, because one of the tests done at Northwick Park was not normal. I was quite surprised by this, as the staff at Northwick Park had told me all the results were normal. In addition, I later found out that the results of one of the tests had never reached my GP surgery, therefore it was necessary to repeat the test.
Overall, whilst the medical care I eventually received from the doctors and nurses was good, I feel that my experience could have been improved by the hospital:
1. Having a nurse at reception to do an immediate triage, rather than have sick people stand in a queue for half an hour
2. Ensuring that patients are seen by a doctor within 4 hours
3. Ensuring patients are discharged/ admitted within 4 hours
4. Cleaning up vomit immediately
5. Ensuring that all medical test results were passed on to my GP surgery