"I went with my daughter to the ..."

About: Wansbeck Hospital

(as a relative),

What I liked

I went with my daughter to the A&E department tonight. we booked in at 8pm and she was seen by a nurse at 8.30pm and advised that she was a category minor and as such we were shown into the minor waiting room.

while we waited in there one young lady with a broken finger was waiting for an appointment and another young lady went off for an xray on her foot. During this time no one else was seen by any doctor or nurse, she returned from the xray and was then discharged at 9.10pm ish. Not another person was seen so at 9.55 i asked the receptionist at the minor injuries department is she could give me some idea of waiting times as in the A&E it had advised 1-1.5 hours. she couldnt help as wasnt part of the hospital and sent me back into A&E.

I went and asked the same question in the main A&E to be told they would check. some 5 minutes later everyone who had been sitting in the minor treatment area was brought into the A&E and advised that they would have to wait again as the doctor fished at 10pm. when asked where that would leave us as some people had been waiting 3 hours we were told we would be slotted in. she went off to try and find out how long we would be waiting to be slotted in, we were told ANOTHER 3 HOURS this would have meant we could be waiting a total of 5.5 to 6 hours to see a doctor for a minor injury.

I accewpt that emergencies take priority, but cant understand how after sitting in the minor injuries unit from 8.40pm until 10.pm only TWO people were seen, i feel it beggers belief,

I work in care and am regularly at hospitals with service users but feel that tonight the communication between units was terrible and the fact that the doctor seemed to fail to even inform others that she had a room full of patients to see and not enough time to do it. Although i have to then ask the question how come only 2 people were seen in an hour and 40 minutes especially when one of those was discharged within 10 minutes of our arrival .

What could be improved

better communication and when a back log develops feeding this back to others.

I think that if the waiting time says 3 hours and you have waited your 3 hours just because a doctor or nurse fails to then inform their colleagues that the poor souls who have waited the 3 hours shouldn't have to go to the back of the Que and start again.

Anything else?

I have a vast experience of attending this hospital through my working practices.

My daughter was upset as sitting as she was she was in continual pain. two of the people we were sitting with walked out, one woman saying she had come in because she wanted to know if she was experiencing an allergic reaction and would just leave and return in an ambulance via a 999.

The whole experience was both saddening and frustrating to have sat for close to 3 hours then told sorry the doctor is finished now and you need to return to the main A&E and start all over again.

worst of all i think from an employment status the poor woman on reception was left to tell us the doctor said we would have to rejoin the que and wait another 3 hours. Talk about the organ grinder and the monkey.

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Response from Wansbeck Hospital

I am very sorry to hear about the experience you had in Wansbeck Accident and Emergency Department.

It appears that you were given incorrect information on the night about where in the queue you were positioned.

Our Minor Injuries Unit does indeed close just before 10pm and those still waiting are often moved to the A&E waiting room to ensure that there is a member of staff available to them at all times. Any patients with minor injuries arriving close to or after 10pm are placed straight in the waiting room in the Accident and Emergency Department, however I can absolutely assure you that these individuals are not placed in the queue ahead of those already waiting. When the Minor Injuries Unit closes, patients waiting continue to be seen in time order, according to arrival time.

Many of our patients with more serious illnesses and conditions are also waiting in this area, and those arriving by ambulance come in through a separate entrance, straight into the Emergency Care Centre and you are correct in saying that these would be prioritised and this may sometimes impact on waiting times for others, but everyone is seen by our medical team as quickly as possible.

Once again, I am very sorry that you have been given incorrect information. I will ensure this is addressed immediately with our reception staff. We do have waiting times publicised in the departments and I will look into how often these are updated to ensure that patients waiting have as much information as possible.

If you would like to write to the Trust about your experience the address is:

The Complaints Department

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

Cobalt Business Park

Unit 7/8

Silver Fox Way

Newcastle upon Tyne

NE27 0QJ

Kind regards

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