"A&E visit"

About: North Middlesex Hospital

Went to A&E at around 9.30pm with a heart arrhythmia had bloods and ECG taken by about 10.15pm then things went downhill. I understand it was very busy but to be told to go sit in a corridor and wait to be called in about SIX hours in slightly concerning.

There were people in the corridor who also had to wait six hours that were clearly in pain and discomfort.

Things in the A&E department just seemed to run at a snails pace, doctors would be sitting chatting at the desk in A&E with patients file in hand instead of getting up and calling people.

When a doctor does call someone, if the patient had long gone you won't see the same doctor call another name for over 30 mins!

Things would have been a lot quicker if they just treated people instead of talking to each other.

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Response from North Middlesex Hospital

Thank you for your feedback.

I am sorry that you endured a long wait to see the doctor, however we have been experiencing very high volumes of attendances and very ill patients. All patients are triage on arrival with the most sick patients being seen and treated as priority. We also have a lot of very ill patients arriving via ambulance which puts further strain on our staffing resource and adds to the waiting time for those patients with less serious conditions.

You mentioned that on occasion you saw staff members talking to each other with files in their hands. You were most probably witnessing staff discussing patient treatments.

If a staff member calls out a patients name and the patient does not answer staff have to search for the patient, making sure that they have not wandered into the A&E department, XRay or triage area. They have to establish that the patient has definitely left the premises. This takes a long time to establish and adds to the waiting times of other patients. I am the A&E service manager, gcarter-sandy@nhs.net and I will share your comments with the team.

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