"Long waiting time. Little help"

About: Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital

I had to take my wife to a and e walk in with extreme back pain and firstly was informed she would have to wait seven hours. She was at least seen within minutes to assess her condition but after that everything ground to a halt. We sat in a corner of a and e or nearly four hours with little or no attention and the only person helping her seemed to be me. The ceiling was dirty around the air vents. The trolley for plastering equipment had two broken wheels. My wife was writhing on the floor in pain at times and little or nothing was done. Nothing other than water offered to sustain her. The doctor who treated her spent an inordinate amount of time beforehand mollycoddling two young girls one of whom seemed to have had some sort of teenage panic attack. My wife was eventually seen and given tablets to help her rest which lasted only half an hour. There was little communication from anyone apart from one poor nurse who was run ragged. Most annoying of all people were sitting doing nothing at a desk eating and drinking when asked for help I was simply referred to the nurse again. Eventually my wife was spoken to by another nurse with an extremely abrupt bed side manner who left my wife wanting to just walk out in agony. No MRI no X-ray nothing. The last persons response to our questions about help was to just push the packets of tablets closer to my wife across the bed and shrug their shoulders. My wife works for the NHS and now has been unable due to this and other issues to work at QE any more. She won't complain because she is too upset to do so. I have never in my life seen someone being treated so badly. Almost as if she was pre judged as a whimp or a silly little housewife. I am disgusted by the NHS at the moment. Despite the obvious political correctness issues you will state, there was a time when the NHS looked after its own. I did notice One of the hospital managers in the a and e dept while we were there. I wonder if they would have waited that long for the outcome my wife had. I wasn't even allowed to comment officially to Pals because they needed my wife's authorisation to complain officially about the time we were there due to her rights to privacy. If your that bothered I'll get the exact date and you can watch yourself on the cctv. Be warned its about four hours long.

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Response from Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital

Please accept our sincere apologies for the stressful time you and your wife experienced in A&E.

We definitely need to look into this as the Trust needs to understand the impact that episodes such as this have on our patients.

Please ask your wife to contact PALS by telephone on 01227 783145 or 01227 864314, by email at ekh-tr.PALS@nhs.net or via the Trust's website, where she can click on the Complaints link on the front page of the website and complete an on-line form.

Response from Sally Smith, Chief Nurse and Director Of Quality, East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you so much for taking the trouble to write in about this appalling experience. It is totally unacceptable for patients to have to wait so long when they attend our Emergency Departments, and equally unacceptable for you not to have been treated with respect and kindness. It is not acceptable for our staff to be rude. Please accept my profuse apologies for this.

We do have long waits at times in the A&E, and we are working on a number of initiatives to try to improve this. I am so sorry you had to experience the waiting as you did. I will ensure the Head of Nursin for the department sees your posting and that she works with the staff on improving the overall experience, care and treatment even if patients have times when they wait a long time.

once again, please accept my apologies and I do hope your wife is now recovering.


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