"Royal Victoria Infirmary Emergency Department"

About: The Royal Victoria Infirmary

(as the patient),

I was admitted into A&E following a head collision resulting in being knocked out and subsequent concussion and a 3 inch cut on my forehead, that inevitably needed 30 stitches.

After having the cut initially examined, I was left in A&E unsupervised and was allowed to fall asleep across reception chairs, which meant I missed my name being called. At no point was I awakened for my name, or had anyone try to prevent me from sleeping due to the seriousness of my head injury.

I was then left in reception following a reassessment with no pain relief, and post stitching, was told I could leave A&E without being given any advice on my symptoms or management of a head injury.

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Response from The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Please accept our sincere apologies that on this occasion the service we offered did not reach the expected standard. The description you provide is not reflective of the level of service we would wish to deliver to anyone who uses our services and we are extremely sorry that this was your experience.

The Emergency Department process is that, on arrival, all patients are triaged and assessed by a qualified nurse. This enables the nurse to determine the clinical priority of the patient and allows any wounds to be assessed and temporary dressings applied. The nurse will also enquire as to the need for analgesia at that time. Patients remain in the waiting area until they are called to see a doctor. The waiting area is observed by the triage nurse.

Any patient who attends following a head injury should be provided with verbal and written advice regarding the head injury as part of the discharge process. This written advice lists details of symptoms which can develop following a head injury. It also provides a contact number, for patients to use should they require further help and advice if complications occur. We would wish to offer a sincere apology that this was not your experience of the service when you attended the Emergency Department and assure you that your comments have been discussed with the medical and nursing team in the Emergency Department.

If you would like a further investigation into your experience, please contact Matron Angela McNab on 0191 233 6161 to provide further details.