"First time waiting over 10 hours for a chest x-ray"

About: Chorley & South Ribble Hospital

My aunt was taken to this hospital with a severe asthma attack that left her barely breathing for 30-40 minutes. After that she was fine, it only came on after some physical activities and she was feeling very well in no time. She was in no way an urgent patient at that point.

She was taken to the assessment unit to wait for a second blood test after few hours to make sure her heart was fine. And that was all right, we were perfectly fine waiting for the blood test.

After the second blood test we were told she would need a chest x-ray as well. And that was fine too, everyone knows an x-ray takes few minutes, including the whole getting to the x-ray unit and back thing. But we waited for over 10 hours.

As we asked the nurse for a phone number of the x-ray unit or general complaints, we were told she is not an urgent patient and the x-ray unit was incredibly busy. I understand we were not needing it urgently as she was feeling fine. But we were sitting in a very full room with very little air to breathe after my aunt was taken to the hospital in the ambulance because of a severe asthma attack. I don't think one needs a lot of intelligence to realise she had trouble breathing. So we spent our waiting time sitting outside the ward, because the hallway had some air to breathe. Magically the nurse we complained to called the x-ray unit and someone was on the way to get us already. How convenient.

Then we got to the x-ray unit. And to our surprise it was empty. We went straight in. And the person who took us there had to literally go into the back and find the person taking the x-rays. That was their oh-so-busy unit with oh-so-many urgent appointments.

After that we waited for another good hour to get a single piece of paper and an inhaler and 12 pills that were ready hours ago. Within that hour a nurse informed us they were very busy at the time. Because it just so happens that all the people in the unit had gotten all their tests done right before the shift change.

I've spent a lot of time in hospitals with my incredibly ill grandmother. And I've never felt this disgusted with the attitude and ''work'' of hospital staff. We were there for a blood test and an x-ray and got out of the hospital 11 hours after we were taken there by ambulance. The assessment unit was a disgrace. There was a single good, hard working nurse in the ward. As we could tell by the fact they were the only one breaking a sweat as the nurse was running around and doing their job instead of making excuses that weren't true. I really wish I had asked their name, because they shouldn't be associated with such a horrid unit. I very much hope to never step foot in Chorley Hospital again.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Rhona Hartley, Head of Patient Experience and Customer Care, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for providing your feedback and for telling us about your aunt's experience when she recently attended Chorley Hospital. I was sorry to hear of the delays she encountered and for the distress caused as a result of those delays. I have forwarded your comments to the managers of both the assessment unit and the x-ray department. However, if you feel you would like to discuss the concerns you have raised in more detail, please do not hesitate to contact our Customer Care department on 01772 522521

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