"Overwhelmed A&E"

About: Alexandra Hospital

When suffering severe abdominal pain recently I chose to attend A&E at the Alex - instead of the hospital where my consultant is based - because it is nearer our home and I thought my condition needed treating asap.

We arrived at about 8.30 pm approx on a Friday evening to find several ambulances outside and a very busy waiting room.

A five-hour wait was being indicated.

However, the Triage Nurse said they would advise they needed to call me in as soon as possible.

Two hours later I was still in the waiting room doubled over in pain when my husband spoke to staff again and a cubicle was found for me.

Nevertheless it was five hours in total before I saw a doctor.

It was clear that the department was pretty swamped with urgent cases waiting to be seen on trolleys.

After x-ray and a CT scan I was found to have infected and inflamed diverticulitis and fluid in the abdomen from the bowel - a potentially dangerous situation.

I am very happy with the medical response and treatment once I was seen.

Unfortunately, it was nearly 2 pm on Saturday before I was transferred out of A&E on to a ward.

This was because I needed to be kept in a single room isolated and one was eventually found off a male ward.

Fortunately surgery was avoided and I was treated well except for two occasions: one where a mid-day antibiotic was missed (nurse error) and another when a six pm dose was not given until 12.55 am the next day (doctor error due to delayed blood test).

Although these concerned me ultimately they didn't impact on my recovery.

The room was kept very clean and the food when I eventually had it was good.

No member of staff's attitude was unacceptable and the vast majority of medical and non-medical staff went out of their way to be kind and were absolutely delightful, and I thank them all for making me better.

However, they were definitely up against it in A&E and such pressure on staff and such delays are unsafe.

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Response from Alexandra Hospital

Thank you for leaving your comments. I apologies for the long wait in our A&E department however I am pleased to hear you were happy with the medical response and treatment once you were seen.

I would also like to apologies for the errors with your antibiotics, thank you for bringing these concerns to our attention, I will make sure your comments are passed onto the management.

Thank you again for taking the time to give us your feedback, it’s much appreciated.

Kind Regards

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