"A really eye opening experience"

About: University Hospital Hairmyres / Emergency department

(as a service user),

From when I walked in the front door, the receptionist was disinterested, and took a long time to get round to seeing us. There was no queue and they yawned constantly, I found this very off-putting. 

We went through triage, which went fine. We were eventually called in, I understand that different people can be more or less urgent. We got there and we sat around for approx 1 hour before anyone let us know what was happening, not even any explanation that they were busy, or whether we would be seen soon, or offering a cup of tea. 

Eventually, after an hour, someone came in and said to the room that they were really, really busy. I appreciate this, but they could have explained some reason why. 

Eventually I was seen, by the same member of staff that triaged me, about an hour 1/2 later. They initiated care from another specialist.

I overheard nursing staff speaking to other patients and said that there are some people dying, you should appreciate the care you are getting. That was totally inappropriate, and I found it alarming, if that's how they see patients. I know and appreciate there are staff shortages, but there is a way of conducting yourself. I saw a girl there who was quite obviously distressed, and the nearby staff just stood there for ten minutes, 

I think this may be just an opinion of mine, but I expected a caring experience from my healthcare. I know everyone is there for different reasons, and its not always possible for patients to have tea, but if someone had just came round and offered one, it would have made a huge difference to feeling care for. It was really just a terrible atmosphere in there, people walking by without even a smile. The whole experience was quite eye opening.

Responses

Response from Lise Axford, Senior Nurse, Emergency Medicine, University Hospital Hairmyres, NHS Lanarkshire

picture of Lise Axford

Dear bravonw94

Thank you for getting in touch through Care Opinion to share your experience of attending the Emergency Department. Please accept my unequivocal apology for the lack of greeting and lack of communication you received regarding waiting times.

It is particularly disappointing as we have been trying to ensure people are kept informed in the waiting area. We’ve installed an information screen to advise on waiting times; have large posters explaining the treatment priorities and introduced information leaflets to explain how "triage" works and the priority that is then given to people for treatment.

If the waiting area is busy you can be assured that the treatment areas will be working at full capacity, usually up to approx 20 people in the resuscitation and major areas which provide life-saving and emergency treatment and maybe 10-15 in minor injuries for the “walking wounded”. The people in the waiting room who have been triaged will be prioritised for treatment, but it's important to remember that there are also very ill and injured people arriving directly into the treatment areas with the Emergency Services (Scottish Ambulance Service and Police Service).

The waiting time to treatment is therefore determined by the "acuity", or "how sick" people are and the time it takes to ensure they are stabilised and receive treatment before they can be admitted into the hospital or returned home safely.

We do provide refreshments for people who are in the department receiving treatment for periods of time when it is safe to do so but are unable to provide this for everyone.

Patient confidentiality is very important so please accept my apology if you were upset by some of the conversations you overheard. I will share your feedback with the teams so they can reflect on your experience.

I hope that the treatment we provided alleviated your emergency and you are now on the road to recovery.

Kind Regards

Lise

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