"Triage nurse."

About: The Tunbridge Wells Hospital

reception asked symptoms on arrival and prioritised my friend for immediate triage assessment (suspected stroke) we later learnt to ensure we could receive appropriate medication within the 3 hour 'window' if this proved to be the case.

we did not say the word stroke.

this was first mentioned when we saw the triage nurse whose first words were: 'so why do you think you have had a stroke, as other people out there (reception) have been waiting for an hour' - we were stunned - and said we did not know if it was a stroke, was that what they thought?

The nurse took a history and said they did not know if the stoke staff would see us!

I appreciate English may not have been their first language but neither was it for many staff seen last night, however they came across as abrupt and rude with no empathy to how distressed my friend was feeling due to the loss of limb control, drooping face and slurring of her speech - she was very frightened.

all other staff including stroke nurse were fantastic.

Only other real comment is no one explains what is going to happen ie told would see a doctor but not that friend would have a CT scan - she was just taken to CT room told to lay on 'table' and to keep still but no explanation of the what or why given.

The receptionist was fantastic very calm, very helpful, polite and has clearly been trained to identify certain symptoms and to prioritise them as trained.

Would we use again - yes as nearest A&E.

Story from NHS Choices


Response from The Tunbridge Wells Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to tell us about your friend's experiences at our Accident and Emergency department. We were saddened to learn that communication regarding procedures and what to expect were not explained at what is undoubtedly a very anxious time and will feedback your concerns to the Matron of the department. Thank you for your kind comments regarding the receptionist who helped to prioritise your friend's treatment, which again we will feedback. With kind regards the PALS team

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