"Mum mum (83) sent to A+E via GP so urgent care..."

About: Croydon University Hospital

Having visited her GP early morning yesterday, my Mum was given a letter to attend A+E after the GP spoke to the hospital. We arrived at 12.00 and were seen promptly. After 1 hour we were moved to Queens 2 where we had a review by a Dr who had little idea of my mums condition. The doctor arranged for her to have a scan which happened around 1630. After that we returned to the ward to await results. No sign of any Dr for hours and when asked, the staff said nothing could be done without speaking to the Drs who were not answering their bleeps. I was then promised that an answer would be given at 2000pm at handover. That came and went and still nothing. All this time there were two very sick ladies in the room, offered no pain relief. One in a bed ringing the buzzer for help with no response. I helped her to the toilet and got her something to drink. As 2200 was approaching I could take no more and went into the doctors office and asked what on earth was going on, the doctor told me they couldn't make a decision! I said who is the person in this place who can make a decision?

We had been there for 10 hrs and I know if I hadn't become agitated I would still be there now!

There was no interaction from the Drs at all and I know they were also embarrassed, but where are the personal skills?

Sorry for keeping you waiting, but absolutely nothing! The lack of care was terrible for all those patients and the staff gave me the impression it was normal. Would you leave your mother here I asked, it went quiet. The Dr was of course apologetic but very tired, I told them I was taking my mother home and what should I do next? They promised to ring her first thing this morning with an answer. Well I knew that wouldn't happen and it didn't! Despite several calls to the ward no one even answers the phone which I had see the day before. If no one can be bothered to even phone us what does that say about our 'caring service?' I personally receive care from 3 large London hospitals and have never seen anything as shocking as I witnessed yesterday. The staff were doing their best, but a lack of senior professionals and leadership was quite obvious. The lack of care and disregard for patients I saw yesterday was truly shocking, and it didn't feel a safe environment for the patients or the staff. I am a massive NHS supporter and am not keen on criticising my local hospital, but this cannot be allowed to continue and I will ensure it doesn't! The people of Croydon deserve so much better than this.

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Response from Croydon University Hospital

Dear Anonymous

I am so sorry to learn of the long and difficult experience of you and your mother. I have passed your comments to the senior staff responsible for the ward and medical staff so that they are aware of your concerns, although I have been unable, from the information provided, to identify who was responsible for your mother's care and treatment. If you are able to contact our PALS office with more information about your mother's stay, I will be happy to ensure that the circumstances are fully investigated.

Since your mother's visit we have introduced a new service at Croydon University Hospital, which is aimed at preventing many of the shortcomings you have raised. From the beginning of November we opened our new Edgecombe Unit, which houses four services in one. It includes the hospital’s new rapid assessment medical unit (RAMU), alongside the COPD hot clinic, ambulatory emergency care (outpatient medical care), the acute care of the elderly (ACE) frailty unit and ACE fast track clinic services.

This will give our patients faster access to the right care.

It will also help to free-up Emergency Department clinicians to care for more patients in life-critical conditions. This should also mean that, when a patient referred by their GP does need to be admitted to hospital, they can bypass the Emergency Department and be met by a senior specialist team expecting their arrival.

I sincerely apologise that this was not the experience of you and your mother and would hope that, if your mother needs our help in the future, her visit will be entirely different.

Kind regards

Graham Richardson Deputy Manager, PALS and Complaints

Please contact us at: ch-tr.pals@nhs.net or 020 8401 3210

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