"Shocking service"

About: Medway Maritime Hospital

My daughter was taken to Medway A&E last night. When I phoned the department I was told she was not there, to later find out she had been taken in by ambulance and booked in a considerable time before I called. I was then told that my daughter had asked for me not to be told about her attendance - unlikely as i discovered later that she had been messaging me on social media while she was in the hospital. The messages expressed her fear about the situation she was in and asking for help. When I had contacted the department I gave clear instructions about who to contact if she attended and this had not been done. The story about why I was not told she was there changed. Two different people claimed responsibility for taking the phone call. When I arrived the department was in chaos with the appearance of an third world shack. Staff standing around leaning on desks. The first thing my daughter said was "I'm so scared, everyone here is horrible". Someone in green scrubs approached without introducing themself. They said to me that they'd seen me before recently and asked if I'd been in A & E a couple of weeks before causing trouble - I haven't been there for at least 4 years. They said they needed to take observations. They put the blood pressure cuff on incorrectly causing it to overinflate and pop off. They then told my daughter off for moving her arm. They then tried to carry out neuro observations but clearly was not able to do this. A nurse approached and told us to go to the waiting room. The waiting room is about the size of a cupboard, dark, dirty and clearly not fit for purpose. I was told there would be a further wait of at least 90 minutes. My daughters condition appeared to be improving so we decided to take her home. I was told I could not do this unless she signed a form saying she wished to discharge herself against medical advice - not true as she had received no advice or care while she was there. I expressed my concerns about the care to a member of the nursing staff but we were interrupted by a member of reception staff who then told the person in green scrubs to make sure they got their story and documentation right in case I complained. It turns out this person is an HCPC technician. I expressed clear concerns about this workers suitability to be responsible for the assessment of patients and was laughed at. As a side note there were patients being examined and assessed in corridors with no privacy or dignity.

There seemed to be a large number of staff either wandering around doing nothing or standing at the desk chatting. Just a few of the staff seemed to be working constantly and doing their best to provide care for patients. A& E should be a place where people feel safe - clearly not the case in this department. CQC you should send someone to sit quietly in this department and watch what really happens.

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Response from Medway NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for your feedback. Please accept our apologies for the less than satisfactory experience in ED. If you would like to speak to someone about this then please contact the senior nurse Pauline Brooker on 01634 830000 ex 3847.

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