"Multiple visits for the same issue."

About: Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital

This is my second review as in the past two weeks two members of my family have had to use this hospital and I can only say that I am less than impressed at the efficiency, or the lack of, the services received.

My niece had an operation to remove an ovarian cyst at North Tyneside hospital on 12th June. It was day surgery and as everything went well she was discharged home that evening. On 17th June she suffered severe abdominal pains and presented at A &E Cramlington. A&E was very busy and she had to wait for 6 to 7 hours to be seen by triage. Now triage was devised to quickly carry out an initial assessment of someone's condition and prioritise their needs. 6 to 7 hours doesn't follow that idea! She was accompanied by her mother who on 3 occasions requested pain control for her daughter which was never given. Why?

Finally at about 4am after 8 hours she was admitted onto Ward 15 with an suspected UTI. She was told she would be given IV antibiotics at 6 am. It was 11am before she received her first dose. She may as well have spent the previous 15 hours, in pain, at home rather than sit in uncomfortable chairs at the hospital.

She was informed she may have a kidney stone and needed an ultrasound. She has suffered with kidney stones earlier this year. She was then transferred to ward 3 and no scan was preformed. She received IV antibiotics and discharged home on Sunday afternoon.

Yet again because investigations were not carried out this hospital has wasted everyone's time. Why? Because four days following her discharge she was taken back to A&E, this time by ambulance, with severe abdominal pains. This time a scan was carried out and as previously suspected she had a kidney stone.

Why will this hospital not complete all investigations before discharging people? It makes sense financially, is time efficient and prevents repeated admissions and worry for patients and their families. The private sector does this and it's effective. Perhaps lessons could be learned by looking at their model of care. Given that services are stretched those in positions to make changes need to be examining the current procedures.

Story from NHS Choices

Do you have a similar story to tell? Tell your story & make a difference ››


Response from Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital

Dear Trish,

Thank you for sharing this will us and giving me the opportunity to look into your concerns and make improvements where possible. I am sorry for the wait your niece experienced to receive treatment at our Northumbria hospital. Although it might not be of great condolence after the fact, we are working hard to tackle to waiting times in our Accident and Emergency department. Along with the rest of the country our Accident and Emergency department is extremely busy and we are doing everything we can to manage the demand- and treat patients as quickly as possible. I am sorry that you feel the appropriate investigations into your nieces condition did not take place. Without your nieces details it will be difficult for us to look into what happened. With her permission, please could you email me her details privately and I will speak to the staff involved in her care. My email is Annie.Laverty@nhct.nhs.uk.

Please also feel free to email me if you would like information about what we're trying to do to combat waiting times in A&E and any other concerns you have - I will be happy to discuss these with you.

Kind regards,


Annie Laverty - Director of Patient Experience