"Shocking A&E. Zero privacy for anyone"

About: Sunderland Royal Hospital / Accident and emergency

I attended A&E on a Tuesday night, approx 23:15. To start with, it took an age to find how to get to it! Knowing the hospital well, it would be far easier to go in the main entrance, up one floor and round the corner. No doubt there's a reason why they haven't done this, but the way it is, when you're poorly and in pain is ridiculous. I was let into a waiting reception area to check in and wait for the nurse to assess me. There was no privacy at check in at all. Everybody else there now knew my name, DOB, address, GP, and why I was there! I sat where I was told, but had to choose my chair carefully as one had blood on. There was dried blood on the floor, granted not much,but enough to be noticed. After approx 20 mins I was called into a different area where a nurse recorded my observations, took a brief history and asked me more about what had brought me in. My temperature was not recorded or my blood glucose level (I'm diabetic and was there due to complications of this). I was then ushered to a large room with a small nurses station, several curtained areas and some chairs. This is where things really went majorly downhill. This area has no windows, aircon, but most of all, absolutely no privacy! During the 3 hours I spent here, I could tell you pretty much everything about everyone there. The waiting area was full, and seats are facing the opened curtains, making me feel like these poor patients were on display. With no other stimuli, and just the curious nature we share, it was like watching a show and to be frank, reminded me of a zoo! It's extremely undignified, and gives patients no privacy and demonstrates a complete lack of respect. The waiting area was a mess. there were 2 tables, one of which had a used vomit bag on, and the other a plastic cup with heavily blood stained tissue in. At no point did I see any staff wash or gel their hands, and no trolleys were wiped down after patients left...everything is on view, so things like this get noticed more readily. Can I just say, other than infection control policy breaches, I have no complaints about the staff themselves and how they treated me. I know this is temporary, but there must be a better way

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Response from Sunderland Royal Hospital

Please accept our apologies for the delay in replying to your feedback. We are sorry to hear of your experience and apologise for any distress caused.

We do recognise that the location of the temporary Emergency Department entrance and waiting room is not ideal however you will understand how difficult it is to build a new department whilst still providing a service on a busy hospital site.

We are continually reviewing patients' comments so we can try and make improvements where we can and your comments have been shared with the Emergency Department Matron who will pick them up with the team.

It was disappointing to note that the environment was not kept tidy and that you felt basic infection control precautions were not taken during your visit and again we have ensured this has been addressed with the staff involved as this is clearly not acceptable.

If you would like to discuss your concerns in person with someone, please get in touch with the Help and Advice Service using the contact details below:

Email: Helpandadviceservice@chsft.nhs.uk

Telephone: 0191 569 9855 or freephone 08005876513

  • {{helpful}} {{helpful == 1 ? "person thinks" : "people think"}} this response is helpful