"Turned away"

About: West Cumberland Hospital

I was turned away from Whitehaven A&E this Friday night at 9pm. I was told to call 111 as A&E apparently no longer accepts walk-in patients any more. I duly called 111 but was told that despite me being in considerable pain my symptoms did not qualify me to be seen by any one in A&E, even though there were only a few people in the waiting room and the staff were certainly not rushed off their feet.

I was told that my GP surgery will contact me tomorrow, although I don’t see how they can as they will be closed tomorrow as far as I am aware.

I am not sure where to turn now. Perhaps I will just have to call 999 next time and call an ambulance out. Is this the new caring, cost-effective NHS A&E service? Making sure that they limit the number of people they see and keeping the statistics looking good?

This is only the second time I have been to A&E in my nearly 50 years on this planet, so I am not accident prone or keen to rush to hospital at the first sign of a problem.

0/10 from me, I’m afraid. I can’t see how I can give you a higher score, as I wasn’t even seen by a member of the medical profession, just a receptionist. I am still in considerable pain after a wasted 1½-hour return trip to the hospital.

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Response from West Cumberland Hospital

Dear Mr Segar,

Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment on our website. I am sorry that you had a less than positive experience on evening of Friday 12th February.

I have checked with the reception staff at Accident & Emergency who confirm that they do still have a ‘walk in service’ but that CHOC (Cumbria Health on Call) no longer has this service since the introduction of NHS111.

It would appear that, unfortunately, you attended the wrong area and although the CHOC reception is located within the A&E department the receptionist has not advised you of this.

I am sorry that this happened to you when you were in so much pain, please accept my sincere apologies. Your comments will be passed to the Matron responsible for this area.

Best regards


Patient Experience

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