"Review of A and E department"

About: Blackpool Victoria Hospital

On visiting an A and E department, it is expected that generally the waiting times are quite long. I visited the department with a family member who was in need of medical attention and we were informed the waiting time would be approximately 2 hours, however it took 4 hours to see a doctor before treatment began. Prior to visiting the department we had contacted the '111' telephone number for advise on treatment and whether the problem could be resolved at home, as it seemed like a minor injury. We were informed that my family member would have to attend a hospital within 4 hours, therefore we took this advise and headed straight to the A and E department at about midnight. We also informed the receptionist of this advise given by the '111' employee. Firstly, my family member saw a triage nurse, the attitude of them was horrible, in hindsight we should have taken the name of the employee for the purpose of this review. The problem was my family member believed they had broken or dislocated their toe, which yes is a minor injury, however my family member had previously broken a toe and said the pain was nowhere near the pain she was feeling now. This was noted to the triage nurse, along with the advise from the '111' call in which they had stated my family member may need a minor operation. In response to this the triage nurse laughed and said 'we don't do anything for broken toes' sending my family member back to the waiting area, barely looking at the injury, and administrating paracetamol. Although I have not worked in a hospital or A and E department, it is logical to think patients are prioritised based on injuries, which is understandable. Therefore it is also likely from the meeting with the nurse, my family member would be of a low priority. After waiting several hours, my family member finally got to see a doctor, who immediately ordered an X-Ray, the response showed the toe was in fact dislocated, and they were going to have to pull it back into place. Whilst we were waiting for the doctor to return, I heard a conversation between the doctor and a sister along the lines of (sister) 'why are we keeping the stubbed toe in' (obviously it would be too polite to use a name) the doctor then explains that they were going to try to pull the toe if not an operation would be required. The response from the sister 'urgh can't we just knock it back in'. After 5 failed attempts at pulling the toe (by a junior doctor) it was confirmed an operation would be required to pin the toe in place. The main issue with the department through our experience was the attitude of staff and the disrespect they showed my family member. Already in pain, she felt like she was taking up space and felt very upset at the way she was treated and dismissed by some staff. (Not all, the doctor and hospital assistant were especially lovely). If nurses don't want to care for patients and they are a hindrance to them, they should definitely consider a career change.

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Response from Andrew Heath, Lead in Patient Experience & Engagement, Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for taking the time to leave feedback of your relative’s recent experience of our Emergency department.

I was disappointed to hear that the attitude of our staff and the lack of respect shown to you and your family is not the standard we would expect and I would like to apologise that you experienced this. I will ensure the management team within the Emergency department are made aware of your comments so they can use these to improve the services we provide.

If you would like to discuss your concerns further I would encourage you to contact a member of my team within the Patient Relations department at patient.relations@bfwhospitals.nhs.uk

Yours sincerely

Andrew Heath

Lead in Patient Experience and Engagement

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