"Accident and Emergency"

About: Hillingdon Hospital

On the 29th September, our 18 month old daughter fell off the settee and banged herself on the side bookcase. After a period of screaming, she suddenly slumped herself against me, whimpered and very briefly rolled her eyes. My instinct led me to calling an ambulance. Cannot fault the paramedics, they arrived within minutes and informed me that we should go to a and e. On arrival, our daughter presented her usual self, playing with toys in children's a and e. After a period of 4 hours we were seen by a consultant who informed me that the ward was so busy that we would be seen in a side storage room filled with tables and chairs. As it was 10pm, our daughter had fallen asleep. The consultant carried out the procedure of shining a light in her eyes and then requested to carry out a physical examination. Very difficult to undress a toddler on your lap, she woke and the consultant very briefly carried out a check. Satisfied that there were no obvious injuries, we were discharged. During the week, we noticed that our daughter was indicating discomfort of her arm particularly when undressing/dressing. This subsequently led to us noticing that she was not using her arm so much and appeared to be 'carrying' her arm. A visit to the GP suggested that it was inflamed and prescribed ibroprofen. A further visit prompted the GP to call children's a and e as by this point it had been 3 weeks. I was advised to go to childrens a and and a consultant would be waiting to review our daughter again. I was advised to go straight up there. On arrival to adult a and e to check in, I presented the letter written by our GP and despite informing the receptionist that the consultant was expecting us in children's a and e, I was told to wait in the adult a and e and the triage would call me. After an hour and still waiting, I spoke to the triage and explained that I was worried that I had missed my daughters name being called as I was profoundly deaf. I was quite rudely told to wait. By pure luck, I needed to change my daughter's nappy and was directed to use the changing area in children's a and e whereby the consultant, our GP had contacted, informed me that she had been expecting me earlier. An X-ray that followed showed that our daughter had broken her arm in 2 places the day she fell off the settee 3 weeks prior. I cannot fault the treatment received in children's a and e that day. There is the separate issue of this not being picked up or x-rayed the first time round but the reason for this poor review is that I am not prepared to condone the attitude from the receptionist and triage nurse on the 20th October. Yes they have a tough job and are expected to prioritise patients but to blatantly ignore the direction I had been given and to give no consideration to me being deaf is unacceptable. I have no wish to receive a blanket reply like so many other reviews, merely just to highlight the need for improvement in listening and deaf awareness.

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Response from Hillingdon Hospital

We are very sorry to hear of the poor experience you had when visiting our hospital. It is clear that there was a misunderstanding at the reception desk which is manned by Greenbrook Healthcare Limited. We have discussed your concerns with the lead nurse of this service and she has asked us to offer you their heartfelt apologies for the distress this incident caused to you. Unfortunately it would seem that the staff were unaware that you were profoundly deaf and thus did not make reasonable adjustments to ensure that communications were effective. If you would like to discuss your concerns and experience with us please contact either Noreen Rice – Emergency Care Services Manager or Paediatric Lead Nurse Katrina Warkcup on 01895279324. May we take this opportunity to wish your daughter a speedy recovery with our most sincere apologies that you did not receive a service from us that met your expectations.

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