About: Russells Hall Hospital

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My 3 month old grandson has a cough that has worsened over the last 24 hours to the point he could not catch his breath and was struggling to feed. I went with him and his parents to the A&E dept at 10pm. We were told there was a 2 hour wait in the childrens dept. After 2 hours the baby was getting distressed so I asked how much longer we would have to wait, I was told there were 2 other children in front of us. Not long after that dept closed and i was told we were now in the general queue. By now there were so many drunks coming in with various cuts which were no doubt self inflicted from the drink. After 3.5 hours of sitting listening to foul language and belching and shouting I asked again how much longer my poorly grandson would have to wait. I was then told at least another 3 hours or more. I was so angry that we walked out. I understand that injuries and illnesses are prioritised but surely a sick baby who through no-fault of his own should be seen before idiots who have been drinking and seemed to think they were still in a pub and were demanding to be seen next and astoundingly they were called through. I was polite to the receptionist but it seemed that because I was polite and courteous it was ok to put the baby further down the list. I was disgusted to be quite frank, I pay my taxes and national insurance it seems for drunks to be treated with more compassion than a 14 week old baby. It then cost me £5.40 for the ordeal to get off the car park.

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Response from Russells Hall Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to feedback your experience of our Accident and Emergency Department. Although we cannot go into the specifics of your visit, we would like to explain the procedure when young patients come to A&E.

We do tend to see more patients in our A&E department at weekends (because GP practices are closed). Patients with major injuries are triaged and early investigations happen, where appropriate, in order of priority i.e. the sickest patients will be seen first. With some types of injuries, for example facial injuries, it is more appropriate to have a full consultation prior to X-ray.

It is not our standard practice to triage patients with minor injuries. Instead patients with minor injuries wait to be seen by an emergency nurse practioner or a doctor in the minor injuries area. However, if their symptoms worsen or they are in great pain they would be seen by a triage nurse to assess whether they need to be treated more urgently.

Due to the nature of the department, we do have patients who are under the influence of alcohol and who may also require medical attention.

We do welcome all feedback and would like to reassure you that all comments are taken seriously and acted upon as part of our ongoing commitment to improving patient and carer experience.

Without further details it is hard to comment on your specific case so we advise you to get in touch with our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on free phone 0800 073 0510 so we can investigate this.

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