"The responsibility to communicate with patients"

About: Queen Elizabeth University Hospital Glasgow / Accident & Emergency

(as a service user),

Following an injury at home (Outer Hebrides) I was sent to QEUH with a letter for trauma/ortho via ED.(to save the triage process) so travelled by sea (5.5hrs) and road (2.5hrs) Arrived at 4pm checked in triaged within 1 hour, waited for further 4 hrs in a waiting room.. hungry(fasted as requested) sore, (no analgesic offered) and exhausted. Not once did anyone communicate with me. I asked at 8pm where I was in queue, was told, next with the disclaimer of no guarantee of when that would be. At 9 pm I asked again and was told ‘Ortho in Resus..Do I need to say anything else?’ I said no and sat down again.  Within earshot the same nurse said that folks think nurses have got nothing else to do but see where they are in the queue and chase doctors . Whether it was aimed at me or not doesn’t matter. I was mortified. 

I have spent almost 40 years on the NHS ( including ED) and I know what it’s like. I also know that it is actually a nurses responsibility to communicate with patients. Whether it’s what you want to hear or not... it’s essential. And I also happen to think it’s a nurses responsibility  to ‘chase up’ doctors. But I call it prioritising. I am not for one minute suggesting that I should have been prioritised. I understand fully that there were people much sicker than me  to be seen. But, please listen to what I have to say! Talk to people, don’t avoid eye contact, be truthful. We( patients) would much rather hear that the wait has increased or the Department has been stretched. Oh and if you’re going to be sarcastic or talk about people... make sure no one can hear you... Some of us are really there because we need to be. My assessment at 10 o clock that night..(6 hrs after admission)resulted in a 5 day stay in hospital, so I guess I really did need to be there. 

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Responses

Response from Nicole McInally, Patient Experience and Public Involvement Manager, Patient Experience and Public Involvement Team, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde

picture of Nicole McInally

Dear Verag

Thank you for taking the time to post your experience which I am very disappointed to read. This is not the service we aspire to deliver within the Emergency Department.

There are a number of issues you have raised here which I think it is important we look into in greater detail. I fully agree that it is staff’s responsibility to communicate with patients, good communication is critical to good healthcare and can help allay and concerns and worries.

My email is Nicole.McInally@ggc.scot.nhs.uk and I would appreciate you getting in touch, (with your name and date of birth. However, please be assured that I have shared your post with the Lead Nurse so that we can learn from your experience.

Kind Regards

Nicole

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