"3 hours in A & E for five minutes with a rude..."

About: University Hospital Of North Durham

I was hit in the head with a lacrosse stick during a match. I was then semi-conscious, nauseous and with a headache for four hours whilst waiting for an ambulance which never arrived.

I eventually got an NHS taxi and went to A and E where I waited for forty minutes to see a triage nurse. I was then told I would have to wait another hour for a doctor. Impatient and confused, I decided I wanted to go home, taking with me a leaflet with symptoms to watch out for.

Once home, my headache worsened and I started to feel sick. I went back to A and E where I waited three hours to see a doctor. The doctor examined me, left the room for five minutes during which I slumped against the wall, too dizzy to hold my head properly. When the doctor returned they handed me the same leaflet I had been given earlier and read off the leaflet to 'stay with a responsible adult for 24 hours' and to come back if my symptoms worsened. The doctor said that seeing as I had no obvious trauma to the head that there was nothing to do.

Confused, I told the doctor the symptoms listed on the sheet had worsened; I'd come back as a result of feeling sick, my headache having worsened and I was confused - I couldn't (and still can't) remember large blocks of the day and annoyingly I've completely forgotten their name.

In a rather patronising tone, the doctor asked me if I knew where I was, and my date of birth. At a loss as to why it seemed they were being sarky, I replied that I knew I was in hospital and, yes, I knew my date of birth. The doctor repeated that they couldn't do anything but neglected to give any kind of diagnosis. I started to stand up and the doctor simply got up and walked out. I stumbled around the room picking up my belongings and as I left they were nowhere to be seen.

I felt like a complete burden, and as if I had been wasting their time.

I completely understand that what is probably a mild concussion is not treatable, however this doctor was completely inhuman. I don't expect to be carefully tended to, however their demeanour was exceptionally cool and uncaring. The doctor was obviously busy, made no attempt to tell me what was actually wrong and made me feel like I had wasted their time. To be honest, I feel like they wasted my time too! A rock would have done a better job.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from University Hospital Of North Durham

Thank you for providing feedback on your recent visit to A&E at the University Hospital of North Durham.

I am very sorry to hear that you were unhappy with your experience on this occasion and we will make sure your feedback is passed to the Matron.

We would welcome the opportunity to discuss your concerns with you and if you would like to contact us with some more detail it would enable the Matron/Manager to look into your concerns for you.

If you feel this would be useful please contact the Trust’s Patient Experience Team on 0800 7835774.

If you would prefer to contact us by e-mail, our address is patient.experience@cddft.nhs.uk

If you do decide to contact us, please make us aware that you have left comments on the NHS Choices website.

The Trust is grateful for all feedback, positive or negative, as it means we can better understand what is important to our patients.

Thank you for leaving your comments on NHS Choices.

Patient Experience Team

County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust

Tel: 0800 7835774

  • {{helpful}} {{helpful == 1 ? "person thinks" : "people think"}} this response is helpful