"Accident and emergency"

About: NHS 24 / NHS 24 (111 service) Wishaw General Hospital / Emergency department

(as the patient),

I am writing this story because this is the second time this has happened to me, the first time we didn't pursue a complaint, however it has pretty much happened again, and I would like to know what measures are going to be put in place to prevent this from happening again.
 I arrived at A&E about 1820, I did not call an ambulance because I live minutes away and I feel this is a complete waste of resources. I had already been on the phone to NHS24 who told me they would fax details through. Fax machine wasn't working so explained to the receptonist at the desk that I was taking an allergic reaction and my throat was starting to swell. I was told to take a seat. After 10 minutes my wife returned to the desk and said I was starting to panic as my throat felt as if it was getting tighter, to which the response was you will get seen next. I was seen by a triage nurse at 18: 50 and assessed - I told the triage nurse my throat was extremely tight and the pressure at the back of my head was unbearable. At 19: 00 the nurse said to me we have no beds and I am aware you are a priority however I need you to take a seat out in the waiting area. We waited a further 10 minutes to which my wife then returned to the desk again asking for help, A nurse came to look at me and said he would be back. He arrived back at 19: 30 and asked me to come through; he couldn't find a bed for me. I was then finally assessed by a Dr and given adrenaline and hydrocortisone at 19: 40. I can see how busy the department was on this particular day, and I also can't thank the nursing and medical staff enough. However what I don't understand is the delay in treatment when I was specifically telling staff I needed to be seen and I needed the treatment.

Its been 7 years since I have had an episode like this so I had no medication to take at home, however the same scenario happened in accident and emergency where we were met with the same problem, so nothing has changed and I don't think thats acceptable. I look forward to your response.

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Response from Shona Lawrence, Patient Affairs Manager, NHS 24

picture of Shona Lawrence

Dear MRMcC

Thank you for sharing your story on Patient Opinion. I was sorry to learn of your allergic reaction and I am sure this would have been a very frightening experience for you and your wife.

Your story has been tagged by Patient Opinion to NHS 24 as you mentioned contact with our service. It appears from what you have described that our staff member referred you to A&E. Our normal process is to advise the relevant A&E Department of a patient's impending arrival and to provide a summary of the symptoms being displayed by the patient. It is unfortunate that the fax machine within the A&E Department was not working. I am sure my colleagues within NHS Lanarkshire will read your story with interest and respond accordingly.

Should you wish to share any particular aspect of the care provided by NHS 24, then I would be pleased to hear further from you. I can be contacted on 0141 337 4582 or by email at patientaffairs@nhs24.scot.nhs.uk

I do wish both you and your wife well.

With kind regards


Shona Lawrence

NHS 24 Patient Affairs Manager

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Response from Andy Pender, Senior Nurse, Emergency Medicine, Wishaw General Hospital

picture of Andy Pender

Dear MRMcC,

Thank you for posting your comments on patient opinion. I was sorry to learn that you had presented to the Emergency Department with an allergic reaction. This must have been a very anxious time for you and your wife.

I am truly sorry to read that the standard of your assessment fell below what you expected. Please could you contact our Patient Affairs Liaison Team to provide further information and patient details so that the care you received can be investigated and that we may provide you with a targeted response.

Patient Affairs can be contacted via e mail to yvonne.ross@lanarkshire.scot.nhs.uk or alternatively via phone on 01698 366558 between 9am and 530pm Monday to Friday.

I do hope things have settled and you are feeling much better.

Best wishes


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