"13 year old waiting 2.5 hours for offer of pain..."

About: Addenbrooke's Hospital

I came in to A&E at 10.30 on a Tuesday evening with my 13 year old daughter with a suspected fractured ankle, unable to walk, nasty swelling and reasonable pain . We were registered fairly quickly and moved through to the paediatric waiting area. This is a side area at the end of a corridor and there is no way of catching the attention of staff. I needed to move my car from the drop off point so had no option after 30 or 40 minutes to walk into the treatment area (which felt intrusive) to try and catch someone's attention to let them know I was about to leave an in accompanied child in the waiting area. The staff resolutely ignored me saying 'umm excuse me' a few times, refusing to make eye contact or look up from their computer screens. Having got their attention, I moved the car. No one came to see her whilst I was gone. It was now gone mid-night. Around 1am I think, she was finally assessed. That's about 2.5 hours before being seen by a nurse or doctor and offered any assistance or pain reief. The ice pack we had brought in was long melted! The staff were all great once we were seen so I can't fault their medical expertise once we were 'in the system'.

However, I feel that little things such as making eye contact, smiling back when someone smiles at you and acknowledging the presence of patients in the waiting area would go a long way to improve the stressful experience of the patient, especially children and the carer. This isn't just a one off experience.

It wouldn't take much to change these little things, they are free to implement!

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Addenbrooke's Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to provide details of your experience in the paediatric area of the Emergency Department.

I am sorry to learn that there were aspects of the care provided that were disappointing.

I have passed your comments to the staff so that they are aware of the impression given, but if you would like us to look into the circumstances in more detail and respond to you personally, please do not hesitate to contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on 01223 216756 or email pals@addenbrookes.nhs.uk and we will be pleased to assist.

I hope your daughter is now feeling better.

Complaints and PALS Manager

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