"I am nearly 72 years old and live ..."

About: St Peter's Hospital (Chertsey)

(as the patient),

What could be improved

I am nearly 72 years old and live on my own in a flat at a sheltered Scheme. After suffering for more than two weeks with a swollen foot -not able to put a shoe- and in an extreme pain, I have pulled the alarm cord in the Scheme to call an ambulance for me. I have no relatives or friends nearby. At the outpatients department I have been seen by a nurse who proceeded to give me a lecture for how costly was the ambulance and I should not have taken it. Before even read my case, I am on a recovering stage of pulmonary embolism and having had similar symptoms currently, a swollen foot, shortage of breath and not Doctor

to visit me-the doctor was in Addlestone and I live in Ottershaw and I have to rely on public transport which I could not take as I could not walk properly until now- I only had a telephone conversation with them, the only option left as the extreme pain continued is to contact the ambulance.

To have an assessment nurse to lecture me I have found totally rude and direspectful and not showing any empathy to my circumstances.

If this was correct when the ambulance arrived and I had to be examined by the medical assistant there, they could easily advised me to stay put in bed -why did they take me to hospital if I should not qualify for this service?

I have been living in U.K. for 52 years and have had used any hospital rarely ,only as a student nurse when I was young. I feel the way I was treated the nurse quite humiliating especially as after seen by the Doctor there has handed me the medications prescribed and said you can take a taxi now. Did they ever think if I had any money with me or even if I could afford it? Very bad manners and really bad service from them I am sorry to say.

Quite disappointed about it.

Anything else?

Staff should be more sympathetic when giving their services.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from St Peter's Hospital

We are very sorry to hear that your experience in our A&E Department was not better and have passed your comments onto our A&E Matron, who would like to apologise on behalf of her nursing staff for their inappropriate remarks. It is uncalled for of any nurse to ‘lecture’ a patient, as we appreciate that everybody’s circumstances are different and encourage anyone who feels they need medical help to seek it.

It’s important, however, that patients know where they should go to receive the best treatment for their particular problem and we work hard with other local healthcare providers to help people ‘choose well’. For less serious or ongoing problems, patients should make an appointment with their GP, or if they are unable to travel to the practice they can request a home visit. There are also walk-in centres and minor injury units available locally, where you don’t need to make an appointment and will be assessed by experienced nursing staff. Accident and Emergency departments are primarily for people who are badly injured or have the symptoms of serious illness. You can find more information about these local services at www.nhs.uk.

Unfortunately, the transport used to take patients home is different from the main ambulance service and is much more limited. Patients may have to wait a long time for transport to be available so we encourage them to ask a family member or friend to collect them or to take a taxi if possible.

If you would like to discuss your concerns in more detail please contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on 01932 723553.

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