"Very poor"

About: Princess Alexandra Hospital (Harlow)

What I liked

It was clean and the staff were pleasant if incredibly immature. Their joking was to the detriment of my mother as she was left hanging around while they tried to decipher which room their joke meant she should be in plus they were so focused on having fun with each other they paid no attention to her and walked the trolley she was on into walls....

What could be improved

Very little attention paid to the full range of problems my mother was experiencing, or a proper treatment given eg when they treated an enormous ulcer on her foot they bandaged it but gave no after care advice despite the fact she was going home..

We were kept hanging around for hours (from 6pm til midnight) which is fine as I appreciate tests have to be run but what I cannot forgive is when they decided to send her home they gave us a terrible service to the detriment of my mother's condition. She has COPD, osteoporosis which causes her tremendous backpain and v swollen + ulcerated foot. Yet they wanted us to drive her home (she can't get in and out the car without screaming in pain, a doctor referred us to hospital in the first place and she went there in an ambulance) and when we explained she couldn't walk plus would need a wheelchair at either end (we don't have one at home) they said the would arrange an ambulance with a wheelchair. Two hours later (2am when she was utterly exhausted and feeling worse than she went in) an ambulance was available. Only for us to discover when we got her home there was no wheelchair on board which made transferring her v painful and traumatic. She is refusing to ever got to hospital again but with her condition will increasingly rely on medical care.

While the staff were pleasant they were incredibly immature - it was like being in a kindergarten. And worse they were more focused on each other's jokes than actually doing what they needed to do for my mother. If I acted at work like that I would be fired.

Anything else?

The NHS's treatment of COPD patients full stop is terrible. My family is at its wit's end, my mother is in constant and debilitating pain that we receive no help for, no matter how much we try to find a way of accessing some . Our dog has ongoing disease and quite frankly our vet treats him better than the NHS treats my mother..

Having rarely had to access the NHS in my 35 yrs until now I am appalled at how honest, taxpaying citizens are treated when they really need help.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Princess Alexandra Hospital

We are very sorry to hear that you and your family had a bad experience at the Princess Alexandra Hospital. We would like to give reassurance that your comments have been shared with our Nursing team and that the Senior Nurse for the Emergency department is investigating the behaviour of staff. We are making huge investments in terms of the care we give to all our service users, with particular focus on waiting times in the Emergency department and attitudes towards patients.

We have recently introduced a philosophy for Urgent & Ambulatory Care and would like to reassure you that we are striving to embed this in our day-to-day working practice.

The philosophy is to ensure that all users of the service receive high quality and safe care. This includes the provision of timely and safe assessment for all patients and to ensure that they and their carers are treated with expert care in an empathetic and non-threatening environment.

All patients will feel safe and have care delivered to them that meets their individual needs. All patients should expect to have information shared with them that enables them and their carers to be involved in their journey.

We will provide a service to patients that enables them to receive treatments in a calm environment and that promotes privacy and dignity. We are committed to treat all our patients, carers, visitors and colleagues with respect and our staff will be helpful and courteous at all times.

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