"Accident & Emergency"

About: Southmead Hospital

My 90 year old Father went in to Southmead on Sunday as a day patient for some Spinal block injections. These were done & when he attempted to stand afterwards, whilst still in the department he fell pulling the chair with him. He was not offered an X-Ray & was sent home. Over the next few days he was in more & more pain & on Wednesday evening his leg gave way & he fell again, then again on Thursday morning . He was sent to A&E by ambulance by his excellent GP yesterday with a suspected fractured Femur ( the ambulance crew were absolutely amazing ) . His GP had faxed through information to A & E & spoken to Orthopaedics prior to his arrival so that they would have all the information & he could have an X-Ray before seeing the Orthopaedic team , I understood that it was important to be X-rayed fairly quickly.

On arrival I advised the staff nurse that the GP had sent the info re: an X-Ray , it was only when I spoke to a second staff nurse that they looked int it & things started to move very slowly We had waited 4 hours before he had the X-Ray which showed that the femur was in fact fractured. The majority of staff were excellent, doing their best & very caring but I got the impression that there were not enough of them for a very busy department.

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Response from Southmead Hospital

Dear Anonymous – thank you for taking time to post your views of the A&E service at Southmead hospital. I was sorry to learn of your father’s story, but pleased to hear that arrangements were made to progress his care once he arrived at A&E, and that the Ambulance Crew were very helpful. I am regret that your father had to wait for 4 hours to be x-rayed as the intention would always be to provide a radiology service for all patients as soon as possible. Although it may have appeared that it was a shortage of staff responsible for the delay, it is more likely it was the demand for the machines that was responsible. This can occur at times of high demand particularly if some patients required more complex and multiple images to be taken. I very much regret that your father had to wait, but I hope he was kept comfortable during this time and that following the good news that he had not suffered a fracture he is making good progress.

Kind regards – Steve Sykes

Advice and Complaints Team.

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