"Empathy and courtesy were sadly lacking"

About: NHS 24 Southern General Hospital / Accident & Emergency

(as the patient),

My 15 year old daughter had a suspected head injury after a hit and run traffic accident. NHS24 were great and advised us to go to the A&E department at the SGH in Glasgow. The triage nurse was also very helpful and carried out a thorough initial examination and then advised us that we would not be waiting long as the department was quiet.

After one and a half hours no-one had checked on my daughter’s condition but a person with a drug addiction was being counselled in the next booth and we could hear every word. The doctor was very sympathetic and went through the persons complete history taking the time to discuss family and support worker assistance (although not an emergency medical situation in my opinion).When a different doctor came to see my daughter I found her very abrupt and barked her questions in a very intimidating manner. She gave me the impression that my daughter was somehow wasting the doctor’s time. My daughter became extremely upset and started to cry and shake. It was only then that the doctor lessened her intimidating approach.

After a brief examination we were given the OK to leave. As we tried to find the way out the nurses (three or four in number seated around the nurses station) saw my daughters distress and sat and watched as we tried to find our way out. Not one of them gave us any assistance or approached us to help or find out the reason for my daughter's distress.

I have always been led to believe that nursing is a caring profession but after this experience I must say that the clinical skills and level of empathy and courtesy that we received were sadly lacking. I phoned the sister in charge after I got home to complain about the incident only to hear the excuse that they were very busy but one of their own staff distinctly told me that they were not. We would have appreciated some support through what was a very traumatic experience and some kindness and courtesy would have been appreciated.

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