"Go to Maidstone A&E not Pembury"

About: The Tunbridge Wells Hospital / A&E and trauma unit

May I begin by saying the ambulance service were absolutely fantastic and the ward that my mother is now in is fairly well ran (although lacking some communication between staff). When my mum was first taken in to A&E she was not in the waiting room because we had to call for an ambulance which seems to skip the triage part. The service was fairly prompt, we had arrived by 11am and sent home by 3pm. However the doctor seemed to have missed the fracture and lesions in my mothers spine despite taking an xray and checking upon them and had discharged my mum with a pulled muscle in the back.. Needless to say my mum was in absolute agony and once again we returned to A&E two days later, however by ourselves and not with an ambulance. We had arrived just after 11am, seen by triage by 12:30pm. Mum was first seen by a doctor at 4pm (they had lost the xray from the 2 days prior), and was not admitted and given a room until minutes before 12am! Over 12 hours with a fractured spine, left in agony in a chair. The triage nurse seemed to be telling the doctors where everything was and what to do. 4 hours into when my mum was waiting I checked online, Pembury 32 people waiting, 2 hour 30 minute wait. Maidstone 34 people waiting, 30 minute wait. What is going on? When my mum moved from the fairly filled initial triage waiting room to the next nearly empty area (where waiting over 6 hours) the plenty of doctors sitting on reception deemed it more important to have jokes / flirts & discussions then to looking at and treating people!? My dad who is much more placid then me said they are probably waiting for results from patients.. Im sorry but what stops you from treating others whilst waiting for results? And how do you find it acceptable, especially after wrongly diagnosing someone to let them sit there in agony for over 12 hours? I find it sickening these doctors sitting on their bums laughing, joking and doing almost nothing are getting paid god knows how much more then the nurses running their bums off doing pretty much their jobs for them and their own. Me and my family have found the whole experience so disappointing from the famous "nhs" that we should be so proud of and paid our hard earned taxes towards to see doctors not to care less. Since my mother is now in a ward (3 weeks later and literally just being diagnosed). Been given the wrong back brace which could have probably made the fracture worse, the porters and nurses not helping my mum up because theyre "not doing their back in for you." We are finally getting there. My mum is to be released as an out patient hopefully within the next week. Please can I say a huge thankyou to the nurses who have made such a difference to my mums stay and not worried about their back! Even a pregnant nurse who my mum praises so much as a porter just dumped her in a room saying "someone will be with you soon" heard, helped my mum up and put her to bed. Thanku

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Response from The Tunbridge Wells Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to leave a review of the service your family received at Tunbridge Wells Hospital.

Please accept our apologies for the delay in replying.

We're sorry that some of your experiences were less than satisfactory and that you formed such a poor impression of the Emergency Department as a result of your observations of staff.

The complexity of patients presenting to the department impacts on the waiting times at each hospital and this will explain the difference you noted.

However, if you would like to discuss any issues relating to the care or treatment your mum received, please contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on 01892 632953 or email mtw-tr.complaints@nhs.net, where a member of staff will be happy to help.

Kind regards, The PALS Team.

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