"One of the worst A&E I've been to"

About: University Hospital Lewisham

Imagine you are in pain. You cry from it, unable to control your shame at weeping helplessly in front of strangers. Your pain is magnified by uncomfortable metal benches and a freezing cold waiting room. Nobody tells you how long you will be waiting. When you ask you're told there are five in front of you. Seven are called while your teeth chatter. There are elderly people here, nobody offers a blanket. No staff in evidence but CCTV every three meters. The staff don't look at you, just have that harried expression common to all late night NHS staffers as they ignore you. I was brought in screaming in pain and left for hours until my wife dosed me with enough painkillers to survive the five hours just to get to the x-ray. As I write this, I'm waiting for the radiographer to appear. I've been here six hours waiting to find out if my foot is broken or not. This is the legacy of the NHS, a place that has abandoned the Hippocratic Oath to do immense harm to its patients. My foot may or may not be broken but my spirit is.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from University Hospital Lewisham

Dear Mr Khan,

I am sorry that you had a negative experience in our Emergency Department on 29th September 2015. Your comments about the environment will be raised with our estates department for them to check the temperature of the waiting area. The lack of eye contact from staff will be shared with the team to ensure that staff are aware of how they were perceived. With regards to information about waiting times the department is currently investigating better ways of informing our attendees of the length of wait.

If you would like to discuss your own case in more detail please do not hesitate to contact me

Ann-Marie Coiley Senior Matron Emergency Pathways Annmarie.coiley@nhs.net University Hospital Lewisham Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust

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