"Dreadful treatment"

About: Eastbourne District General Hospital

I was taken to A & E by ambulance and arrived just after half past two in the morning. The ambulance had been ordered by the doctor I spoke to from the out of hours service. The ambulance service was excellent. The staff were professional and caring.

Upon arrival I was booked in and told that I would be seen by the triage nurse in about fifteen minutes, I was left in the waiting room in a wheelchair. I was unable to walk.

I was seen by the triage nurse at about three thirty and given some pain relief at four o'clock. Then I was left and wasn't seen by a doctor until ten past ten; some seven and a half hours after arrival. I was very cold, having sat in the waiting room, or just on the edge actually, which is part of the corridor. I was wearing my night clothes and only had a thin blanket covering my legs. I was thirsty as I had not been able to get a drink of water.

I saw the doctor who sent me for an x-ray. The staff there were super. They got my x-rays organised swiftly and were kind enough to help me to the toilet before I was taken back to the doctor.I was then given a prescription and crutches. I explained to the doctor that I would have to wait until half past twelve for a friend to collect me. I was taken back to the waiting room and parked in front of the car park ticket machine. i had to ask another patient to move me to a more suitable place.

Apart from the staff in the x-ray department, I was shown no respect or dignity. I know that I arrived at hospital at the tail end of the doctors strike and this was offered as an excuse for my long wait. However, I didn't choose to have an emergency at this time and feel that this was no excuse for being treated in this appalling way...left feeling cold, hungry, thirsty, in pain, lonely and feeling utterly miserable.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Eastbourne District General Hospital

We are deeply disturbed and saddened to read your posting on NHS choices about your bad experience in the A&E department at the Conquest Hospital.

As a Trust, we aim to provide high quality care, however, what you describe was clearly not quality care and was completely unacceptable.

The way you were treated must have been deeply distressing for you and for this we apologise.

We would dearly like the opportunity to speak with you to allow us to apologise in person and to gather more detail from you, to enable us to investigate what happened in a thorough manner.

It's important we learn from what happened to ensure that this is not repeated.

If you feel you would like to speak to us, please contact our Patient Advice & Liaison Service (PALS) on 01323 435886 or by email at:esh-tr.PALSE@nhs.net. PALS will be able to organise a conversation with the A&E Head of Nursing who is keen to look into the issues raised and take action.

We sincerely hope that you feel able to make contact with us.

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