"Allergic reaction."

About: Aberdeen Royal Infirmary / Emergency Medicine

(as the patient),

I visited my local A&E department twice in one weekend due to an allergic reaction that was out of my "normal" pattern.

I was extremely disappointed with the care that I had received. Medical staff repeatedly asked me to stick out my toungue despite me explaining several times that my anaphylaxis does not present that way.

The care went from bad to worse as we went over my medical history. I had recently been diagnosed with some mental health issues. The staff made it quite clear that they believed that I was overly anxious opposed to unwell.

By the time I had been admitted on to the ward it was close to tea time. The HCA read out the menu, but as always there was nothing safe for me to eat. Once I explained this she went to go fetch me something else. A milk protein shake. Something I just said gives me an anaphylactic reaction.

I was quite upset by this. Rightly so. A little later the nurse who was attending to the bay I was in came over to do a set of OBS. they asked how I was, I replied that I was starving and there was nothing on the menu I could have. The nurse didn't make eye contact at all. Looked at my notes and said " that's good, they will be around with the trolley soon" I was stunned.

I have lived my allergies my entire life, I know me better than anyone else and extremely rare for me to go to a&e so I would say they were well controlled. The staff made me feel as though no one was listening, no one cared, but worse of all;

I felt scarred, I felt unsafe in a place I was meant to be able to feel safe.

This is only a couple of issues that happened, the entire experience was utterly disappointing. I will now be more hesitant to call for an ambulance if I need one again.

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Response from Laura Gray, Director of Corporate Communications, NHS Grampian

Dear AllergyGirl

I was very sorry to read of your recent experience. Our values of caring, listening and improving are very important to us and it must have been distressing for you to feel that you experience was so disappointing. The last thing we would want is for anyone to feel unsafe when they are in hospital or to hesitate about contacting emergency services.

We would be happy to look into what happened to give you some answers and for our staff to be able to learn from your feedback.

If you would like us to do this would you please contact me by email on laura.gray2@nhs.net

Many thanks

Laura Gray

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