"Urgent Care Problems"

About: University Hospital Lewisham

I went to the Lewisham Urgent Care facility on a Sunday evening, after the local walk-in clinic refused to see me ("it's a little late and we are going to close soon").

I waited 45 minutes to see an assessment nurse, then another 2 hours to see a doctor.

Whilst waiting, there was a woman in a wheelchair with head injuries sitting near me - she had a bandage wrapped around her head, was semi-concious and obviously in a very poor state.

She started to moan, and the sayng "someone help me, please someone help me", and crying.

A couple awaiting treatment were sitting next to her, tried to comfort her and get some help.

Each time that they were able to find staff, the dismissed their concerns.

There was no staff watching the waiting area at all.

Eventually, after close to an hour (she was there before I arrived), a nurse came and pushed her towards the emergency doors.

A staff member came out later and had a word with the concerned couple who had looked after her, saying very flippantly that she had "crashed" and that they were trying to revive her.

Really, did someone with such serious injuries have to sit, unattended, in the centre of the waiting area?

Was there no bed for her?

Besides this awful experience, the entire experience felt like something from Cambodia, rather than London.

The entire process was chaotic, there was no notification system to call people (just nurses leaning out doors and yelling down the hall).

I realise that this was urgent care, with some sort of link to the hospital A&E ward as well, but the experience made patients feel like carcasses in a meat plant.

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Response from University Hospital Lewisham

We are sorry that you had such a negative experience of the Emergency Department, staff are trying to maintain the highest standards under extreme pressure and we are always disappointed when these standards are not met. We are always looking at new ways to improve our service and take feedback very seriously, whilst It is not possible for us to comment on individual patients without more information, but if you wish to contact the dept to discuss your experience one of us would be happy to talk to you.

Sarah Carver

Matron ED

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