"Out of hours drinks/refreshment availability"

About: New Cross Hospital

My father was brought in to A & E by ambulance (by two amazing Paramedics from Dudley Ambulance service not Wolverhampton).

It was 10 p.m. on the evening of Friday 30.10.15 and Dad was (for a very short time) in the corridor on a trolley.

I acknowledge there are 'Polite Notices' asking for 1 visitor per patient but full compliance with the present obsessive 'elf and safety culture' is not always possible but I was asked by a nurse to leave and wait in the waiting room.

This I was loathe to do as I was not causing an obstruction at that time; my father is stone deaf so communication is only possible by white board and my mother (at 83 years of age) is not very mobile but also not particularly confident now when dealing with officialdom.

There was a man on an adjoining trolley who said to me - stay with me so there's one visitor there and one with me.

So, I did - and when this nurse came past again, they apologised saying they thought I was with 'them' - pointing to my mother and father.

Once in a Majors cubicle, my Dad was attended mainly by a most exceptional person (who had brought my Dad a couple of beakers of water whilst we were waiting for a doctor).

I asked them where I could get my Mum and I a drink and they told me there was a tea machine just outside the cubicles and I could make us a drink there.

They had already told the daughter of the lady in the next cubicle the same and she made a drink just before me.

I was just finishing making a tea for Mum when the Nurse who had tried to get me to leave the admissions corridor and obviously realising they had been 'duped' as I was, of course, with my Mum and Dad, came and told me off for making a drink.

They said I was not allowed to make a drink even though I told them I had been told we could.

Ten minutes later the person who had told us we could make tea came to apologise that I had been 'told off' for making a drink; they said that they had been told off too!

I asked for the name of the nurse in question and they reluctantly told me.

When I eventually found my way out - after being told there was a drinks machine near the main reception, I purchased a drink for myself and Mum but it took me a long time to find my way back to my father's cubicle.

Just to be sure of the facts, I asked 2 other members of staff about a drink and they both told me that in the majors cubicles I was allowed to make a drink.

This nurse was a disgrace - especially telling the other nurse off for being the epitome of what the public expects of a member of the hospital staff.

There should be more like the first nurse and I sincerely hope they are commended for - and applauded for - their caring attitude.

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Response from The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience in our Emergency Department.

I am sorry for any distress that this matter has caused. To enable me to look further into your concerns, I would be grateful if you can contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on 01902 695362.

I wish your father well with his recovery!

Kindest regards

Judith Davis

Patient Experience Services Manager