"Self harm treatment at A&E"

About: Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust Queen's Medical Centre / Accident and emergency

(as the patient),

Unfortunately I had to go back to A&E in the early hours of this morning after cutting my wrist. The nurse I saw for triage was lovely and she took me to wait to see a doctor.

The department was very busy and I didn't mind sitting on a chair waiting. I waited for 3 hours and was then taken into a cubicle. Every other patient was given a bed to lie on but it seems that when you self harm you are treated differently. A chair was placed in the middle of the cubicle and I sat on it.

I have been in a crisis house all week and have had very little sleep so at 6am I was shattered. I gave in to my tiredness and curled up on the floor using my coat as a pillow. After half an hour a nurse came and switched the light off in the cubicle and left me lying on the floor. Half an hour later a nurse noticed me and asked if I was ok. He got me a bed and helped me to get off the floor. Yet again I cried at this act of kindness. I understand that my wounds are self inflicted and I am stupid. Your treatment makes me feel like the lowest of the low and not worthy of being treated like everyone else. I wish I could curl up and die.

I saw the doctor and a nurse patched he'd me up. They told me that the Crisis Team will visit me later but I know that they won't even ring me. They never do but I don't expect it.

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Response from Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust

Thank you for sharing your experience and sorry to hear how your treatment made you feel. I would like to reassure you that all patients who present at our the Emergency Department are treated equally and without judgement. The way injuries were sustained does not impact on treatment.

I am sorry that the area you received your treatment did not have a couch, so that you could be more comfortable.

I am gravely concerned to read that you were left lying on the floor and wish to look into this further. I would greatly appreciate it if you could contact me directly on 0115 9249924 ext. 70212 or email me to clare.mayfield@nuh.nhs.uk

Kind regards,

Clare Mayfield

Emergency Department Sister.

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Update posted by madperson (the patient)

I spoke to Clare directly after she responded to my story. We talked about what happened and she explained why I had not been offered a bed.

We agreed that there had been a breakdown in communication and she could see why I would have been upset about what happened.

We talked about future visits to A&E and what I should expect from staff there.

I have also recently met with DPM and we visited the A&E department and discussed how small changes can make it a less stressful experience. We wrote a care plan that is going to be shared with the A&E department. This involves less time sitting on the horrible plastic chairs.

I am happy that I was listened to and in the future I have offered to support staff training and development by sharing my experiences.

Response from Ruth Gadd, Acting Service Manager , City Crisis Team, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS trust

Thank you for sharing your experience and your feedback in response to your conversation with Clare.

I am sorry to hear you felt unsure about whether the Crisis Team would contact you or not, this must have been unsettling for you.

I think you might have been more reassured if the nurse or doctor involved in your care at the time would have given you more detail about when the Crisis team would visit you, as they should have contacted the team to arrange or discuss this. Please let me know if you did receive Crisis support or not.

I am pleased to hear that you have developed a care plan with the Emergency Department-this is excellent and I was wondering if you have a Crisis Care plan in place; these plans have been developed to help support individuals before they experience a crisis point or high levels of distress. If this is something you may wish to think about then I'm more than happy to discuss this with you. If you do have a Crisis Care plan in place then this may need reviewing with your community team or the Crisis team.

I am delighted to hear that you feel you have been listened to and that you have kindly offered to support staff training and development, this is so positive and thank you for supporting the teams with this.

If you feel that I can offer you any further assistance please don't hesitate to get in touch,

kind regards and please take care


0115 9691300 ex 12318
mob 07770492588
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Update posted by madperson (the patient)

It has been nearly a year since this story.

I offered to support staff training and my offer was accepted really well and I was even shown a new training area but no one has contacted me to take this any further.

I completed a care plan for A&E and was told that it would be on my records if I go back to the department.

I have been back to A&E quite a few times since and not once has my care plan been actioned. I am still placed in a busy area to wait. The last time I had a mostly naked man sat next to me. I am still put on a plastic chair in the middle of a cubicle.

No one ever offers me anything to help me calm down and I find it impossible to communicate my distress and ask about the care plan as I'm in a heightened state of distress and just trying my best to hold it all together.

Going to look around the department, writing a plan and accepting my offer of support for training seems like lip service and a complete waste of time