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"Complete lack of compassion and communication, but..."

About: University Hospital Of North Durham

What could be improved

An elderly gentlemen who had arrived an hour before us, was not seen until an hour and a half after us, even though my friend had a swollen foot and he had a suspected broken rib. He was in extreme pain and crying out and staff ignored him. I approached the receptionist, who then went over to him, shrugged her shoulders and said "what do you me to do about it??!". He started to explain that he had not been given any painkillers by the triage nurse but the receptionist walked off whilst he was talking. He then had to ask the receptionist again who told him that he "had been given painkillers" when in fact he had not. So she checked again and he was right. He was then seen to. The nurse called him to see her, but the gentleman could not get up. The nurse just stood there whilst he struggled and thankfully a fellow patient then helped him. The gentleman was elderly and had mobility and hearing problems. He was perfectly polite and smartly dressed. He did nothing wrong and was treated with disdain by the hospital staff and even worse he was left for hours in excruciating pain without any pain relief and was ignored.

Story from


Response from University Hospital Of North Durham

Dear Anonymous,

Thank you for providing feedback on your recent visit to the Accident and Emergency Department at University Hospital of North Durham.

I am sorry to hear that you are unhappy with the care given to a fellow patient.

We would welcome the opportunity to discuss your concerns with you. However, due to patient confidentiality, we would not be able to feedback information specifically about the patient you mention. If you feel this would be useful please contact the Trust’s Patient Experience Team on 0800 7835774. If you would prefer to contact us by e-mail, our address is

Alternatively, you can write to us at the following address: -

Patient Experience Team

Darlington Memorial Hospital

Hollyhurst Road


County Durham


If you do decide to contact us, please make us aware that you have left comments on the NHS Choices website.

The Trust is grateful for all feedback, positive or negative, as it means we can better understand what is important to our patients.

Thank you for leaving your comments on NHS Choices.

Patient Experience Team

Tel: 0800 7835774

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