"Avoid this hospital - poor facilities"

About: Croydon University Hospital

I had to visit the temporary A&E department on 16/11 after having a major surgery on my leg in Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore a few days earlier. It was a busy night at the A&E; there were no seats, let alone a wheelchair available for me. I had to walk using my crutches along the corridor to the A &E and to the urgent care unit.

Nobody approached me even though the staff could see I was struggling. No one told me where I could get a wheelchair. When I asked the receptionist at the urgent care centre, they said none is available there. Nothing more on where I could get one,

Doors to the urgent care unit were also not automatic. I had to stand there a few minutes and hoped a kind person would open it for me.

My operated leg was so tired and felt worse when compared to before I arrived at the hospital. Staff were unhelpful (actually ignorant ) and looked unhappy doing their jobs.

After a while, I decided to just leave and go somewhere else. I thought to myself that if I stayed my leg could be worse due to the poor conditions at the waiting area and inadequate facilities.

Anyway my advice is that there are better hospitals around Croydon. Go to those if you can. I had good experiences in NHS hospitals like East Surrey and RNOH. Unfortunately Croydon University is just not in the same level as these hospital in terms of facilities and patient services.

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Response from Croydon University Hospital

Dear Anonymous

I am sorry to learn of the difficulties which you experienced when you attended the A&E department at Croydon University Hospital.

I should explain that rebuilding of a new A&E department has just started, which necessitated the relocation of the Urgent Care Centre and our Emergency department and this was successfully carried out early on 8 November.

Following your feedback, I have visited both services today. I am advised that the main A&E reception area has three wheelchairs available, although these may be in use at busy times. However, staff there should be able to provide assistance if they are advised this is needed.

The Urgent Care Centre (UCC) is run by Virgin Care, on behalf of the Croydon Clinical Commissioning Group, and I have spoken to a senior member of their staff today. They have confirmed that the UCC reception also has wheelchairs available and they sincerely apologise that a chair and assistance was not provided. They will raise your concerns with their reception staff to ensure that staff are aware and able to assist when necessary.

The doors into the UCC are automatic opening, but these had developed a fault at the time of your visit and an engineer had been attempting a repair at the time of my visit. I am very sorry that this added to your distress.

Kind regards

Graham Richardson

Deputy Manager, PALS and Complaints

Our PALS team are available to provide assistance on 020 8401 3210 or at ch-tr.pals@nhs.net

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