"Complete disgrace"

About: St James's University Hospital

After months of ignoring feeling tired, short of breath and chest pain because I don't like to make a fuss and my GP first chose to investigate respiratory before heart, I eventually had to call an ambulance as my heart suddenly felt like it was in major distress and I felt extremely unwell. The 999 operator was amazing. The paramedic arrived and after several seconds and not even speaking to us asked my partner in a very insulting patronising rude huffy manner "has she been drinking?" And pulled a face. Throughout my time in the ambulance they repeatedly patronised me and told me I'd just had a panic attack. I was to poorly to defend myself. I could barely speak. I was taken to SJUH A&E where I was left stood alone in a corridor even though I didn't feel well enough to stand. I heard the paramedic implying to the staff during handover that I was fine I had just got a bit panicked and worked myself up into a state. So from then on I didn't expect to be cared for properly as I had already been written off as an nhs resource wasting idiot. After 10 minutes my obs were checked and I was then asked to sit in a general waiting room where I was out of sight for an hour where I continued to have cardiac feeling episodes on and off. My partner had to park his car illegally to be with me in the waiting room as I was just left there by myself petrified and fearful that I was going to arrest on the waiting room floor.

I was then shown to a trolley bay where I waited for several hours and began to feel better and my symptoms gradually decreased over the hours until I felt normal again. After five hours somebody finally did an ECG for the 1st time since arriving and was told I had reverted back to normal sinus rhythm where as the ambulance ECG showed sinus arrhythmia. Well the actual event had happened 5 hours ago so of course it was normal. So I was told I could go and just go to my GP. I was in total shock and frightened to go home but as long as the staffs backs are covered with a normal ECG that's all that matters right? I'm not even sure that the ECG wasnt left all that time on purpose so they didn't have to keep me. I was fobbed off throughout that I had just had a panic attack. I wish I had pushed to be taken to the LGI as there is an obvious difference in attitudes. The way I was treated at SJUH would not have happened at the LGI. Something needs to be done about the difference in standards between the two hospitals in regards to how they prioritise and their attitudes towards patients, safety and customer service. Everybody I speak to says the same recently about staff attitudes at SJUH. So now I am struggling to get a GP appointment in a timely manner as they are obviously assuming it isn't urgent if A&E have let me go. I'm just disgusted and will never go there again. I felt so unsafe at a time when I most needed reassurance. Disgraceful and I will never return for as long as I am conscious enough to refuse to go to that joke of a hospital.

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Response from Shannon Dunford, PALS Officer, Patient Experience, PALS, Leeds Teaching Hospitals

Dear Anonymous

Thank you for taking the time to write to us.

I am very sorry to read that you feel you had such a poor experience in our Emergency Department at SJUH and that the care given did not meet your standards.

Unfortunately there is not enough information in your post to allow us to look into the concerns you have raised. It would be very helpful if you would contact our Trust’s Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) and provide more information.

This would also allow us look into the concerns you have raised more thoroughly and also to see what lessons we could learn from your experience.

Our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) can be contacted on 0113 206 6261 or alternatively by email patientexperience.leedsth@nhs.net

Kind regards


Senior Nurse

Patient Experience Team

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