"Take a good book and some food"

About: North Middlesex Hospital

Had broken foot. Made the whole experience quite unpleasant! Had to fill in a form when I arrived, but had to hobble to get it. I can’t be the first person who can’t walk and who arrived alone to visit the hospital.

Had 3 hour wait to just be seen by triage nurse. During this time there appeared to be no system for checking what happened if patients didn’t hear their name or to find out where I was on the waiting list without enlisting the help of strangers. Had to tell a complete stranger I needed the toilet, but he was kind enough to make sure I got there OK and to check where I was on the list.

Finally saw nurse who suggested I come back in the morning when there would be more staff and less of a wait, so went home feeling miserable, but at least came back the next day armed with food and a phone charger.

Saw different nurse who referred me to X ray after 3 hour wait. X ray itself was quick, but was told to sit and wait for results – but not where to sit. Added stress and more panicked hobbling worrying I’d miss my name and have another 3 hour wait!

Luckily picked right spot and was called and given moon boot and crutches, but absolutely no guidance on how to use them, just that I had to go to a fracture clinic the next day and that they would advise me.

They didn’t.

I had a morning appointment, there it was already an hour delay. Luckily had taken some work, but the hour morphed into 90 minutes.

When I was called the surgeon insisted on shaking my hand. I was on crutches. I was struggling. I told them I was struggling and couldn’t shake their hand. They insisted.

They spoke to me for 4 minutes. Told me I was fit to work (I self-certified, although a week later am still struggling at work), but did not tell me how to measure crutches or moon boot. They were the worst experience of all.

Aside from giving me an X ray and crutches/boot, I’ve used my own knowledge to treat myself. Thanks North Mid, you’re crap.

I could improve all of your systems in 20 minutes.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from North Middlesex Hospital

Thank you for your feedback.

The waiting times in A&E are varied and are unpredictable due to the number of blue emergency ambulances who bring urgent patients to A&E. You have highlighted a number of interesting points which I agree need attention and I would welcome hearing from you to be able to help address these for the future. I am the managing director for A&E services, m.fitzpatrick@nhs.net and would welcome any further comments from you.

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