"The A&E staff realised ..."

About: University College Hospital

(as the patient),

What I liked

The A&E staff realised I was in significant pain and saw me relatively quickly

What could be improved

The A&E consultant reminded me of my boarding school matron who barked out orders to me. She told me that there was no medication that she could give me that wasn't available over the counter. When I experienced continuing pain for the next two days I went back to my GP and asked for a stronger painkiller and an antispasmodic. My GP was bemused that these hadn't been prescribed in the first place. I can see no reason why they were not. At the very least they should have been offered to me.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from University College Hospital

Thank you for your comment. In A&E all patients are assessed by a Triage nurse as soon after arrival as possible. During this assessment the level of a patient's pain is assessed and pain relief is offered and given unless the patient declines it prior to seeing a doctor. For most ambulatory patients this generally comprises of ibuprofen and paracetamol or paracetamol with codeine. These medicines are readily available over the counter. For patients in more severe pain other prescription only drugs are sometimes prescribed but often not until the patient has been assessed by a doctor. After normal working hours or weekends only a limited number of medications are available to prescribe for patients from the A&E stock cupboard and many of these are available without a prescription. We endeavour to assess patients' level of pain and treat with the most appropriate pain relief at the time. It is difficult however to comment further on your message but if you would like a more detailed response please contact the PALS office at UCLH and we will look into your records. The PALS contact details are: Telephone 020 7380 9975. Email: pals@uclh.nhs.uk . Opening times: Monday to Friday 9am - 4pm except public holidays.

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