"Behaviour of one of the consultants in A&E department"

About: St George's Hospital (Tooting) / Accident and emergency

(as a relative),

My wife had a heavy fall accidently at home in late July and had an injury to neck, left shoulder, right shoulder ( which was operated in July 2014), injury to left knee ( TKR 10 years ago), bone deep vertical laceration on left side of forehead, cut upper lip on left side about 2'' long and injury to lumbar region. An ambulance was called and paramedics suspected severe injury to neck(? fracture of cervical spine).

She was promptly taken to A & E department. After waiting for 1hr 30 min she was seen by a consultant and asked what the problem was. As she started telling him, starting from neck injury and then to other injuries he suddenly shouted angrily at her and said '' Look here lady I am interested only in your neck. Don't tell me anything else'' With that outburst my wife who was in severe pain felt very down and stopped talking. No proper history was taken by any doctor nor full examination was made. Ct scan of neck showed fracture of body the 6th cervical vertebra extending into the transverse process on left side. My wife had 8 stitches in her forehead laceration the following day.

I am a retired GP with nearly 40 years of experience, (including work in an A & E in a very busy hospital).

The consultant has not even offered any apology for his behavior. My wife was in severe pain and shock.

What concerns me that when you are treating a patient who is in severe pain and is already in a shocked and depressed mood one has to be more sympathetic and a few soothing words are very comforting to the suffering person. I did not tell the A & E consultant that I am a doctor as I do not like to disclose it.

I do understand that your A & E department is extremely busy but a little sympathetic approach is comforting to the patients and the public will appreciate.

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Response from St George's Healthcare NHS Trust

Thank you for posting your comments about your visit. Your comments will be sent to the service for feed back.

We are very sorry to read of your wife's experience with the care she received in July. If she would like to talk to the service about the experience and if you have not done so already, then please contact the PAL Service at pals@stgeorges.nhs.uk or on 020 8725 2453 where staff could put you and your wife in touch with the managers of the A&E department.

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