"A&E - two good and two bad experiences"

About: Royal Berkshire Hospital

Over the past five years I've gone to the A&E department at the Royal Berkshire four times.

Once with my son, twice with my daughter and once on my own account.

The problems we had were: 1. appendicitis (daughter), 2. broken wrist (daughter) 3. respiratory infection (son), 4. heavy bleeding in second trimester of pregnancy (myself).

I was very happy with the care my daughter received on both occasions.

She was seen and treated very quickly for her broken wrist in the children's A&E.

Although we had to wait a long time for her to be seen initially with appendicitis, this was understandable as was a very busy time in the children's A&E.

She was admitted, had her operation quickly and everything went very smoothly afterwards.

We were not so lucky when we visited A&E with my son on his first birthday.

He was floppy and listless, suffering from a respiratory infection, and we were finding it impossible to get him to take any food or fluids as he was too sick to take them.

The doctor I saw that night did not pay proper attention to my son's condition.

Their only advice to me was to "take him home and give him some birthday cake", which I found quite upsetting as it was so obvious that my son wasn't in any fit state for cake or any form of celebration.

I left and took my son to our GP the next day.

They were not happy to hear about our experience with the doctor in A&E.

Although my son's condition hadn't changed since our visit to A&E they said that in their view his illness was serious and they referred us straight back to A&E.

We saw a different doctor who decided to admit my son and he then spent the next 5 days in the RBH, ending up on a drip and antibiotics.

I was happy with the care he received when we returned to A&E and on the ward, but very disappointed with the standard of care of the first doctor we saw in A&E.

The fourth, and most recent visit I have made to A&E has been the only one on my account.

I was bleeding heavily and believed I was suffering a miscarriage.

I was seen very quickly and treated sensitively on arrival by the receptionist.

My husband and I were allowed to wait in a separate area and a nurse quickly came to take details.

I was also seen quickly by a doctor, who examined me and noted that the bleeding seemed to have slowed considerably, but still wanted to admit me to hospital.

They explained that there were no places on the ward at that time.

It was about 1 o'clock in the morning of a busy Saturday night.

My husband had to leave me in A&E to take over from our babysitter at home.

I was left alone in the room and not checked by any member of staff for the next 3 hours.

During that time I could hear an elderly lady nearby repeatedly calling for help but no one went to her either.

I did, however, hear a nurse bantering with a group who had been in an accident.

I felt I would be safer at home where there was someone to notice if I started to bleed heavily again and so checked myself out against advice.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Royal Berkshire Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to post a review on NHS Choices and please be reassured that we take all concerns raised very seriously in order to improve the care we provide. Thank you for your positive feedback on some of your visits to the Children's Accident & Emergency Department. We are sorry that on one occasion in the past your experience was not as we would have hoped. The doctors do now have regular training in dealing with children and we hope that you do not have a repeat of this experience on any further visits.

With regards to your recent visit to the Adult Accident & Emergency Department we are very glad to hear that you found some aspects of your stay with us to be positive. However, we are very sorry to learn that you were left for several hours without the nursing staff checking on you.

We expect all staff to act in a professional and kind, caring manner at all times and we can only apologise that this was not the case for you.

Please be assured that the matron for the area will feed back the concerns you raised to our team to try and prevent it happening again.

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