"Attitude of staff in A+E"

About: East Surrey Hospital / Accident and emergency

(as the patient),

I was sent by my GP to AMU with suspected viral meningitis. On arrival at AMU a nurse told the porter that they were personally unable to take me. No member of staff actually spoke to me.

I was taken round to A&E where I was extremely rudely barked some questions at by a triage nurse. I was feeling very unwell and was having difficulty answering the questions as quickly as they wanted. I was asked if I had problems with the lights. I was covering my eyes and I told the nurse I found it extremely bright in that room. The nurse said something like "well you're not wearing sunglasses, are you? Have you come in in sunglasses? No, so you can't be that bad" I couldn't quite believe what I was hearing.

I was wheeled through to another section and the nurse walked off without saying a word to me, leaving me facing a wall. After about an hour with no one having spoken to me at all I became quite distressed. Two nurses came over to me and spoke to each other over me and then moved me into a cubicle. Over the next four hours I had a chest X-ray and some bloods taken. A doctor came to see me briefly but no one explained what was going on.

After more than five hours, feeling very unwell I just wanted to leave but I couldn't get anyone's attention to take the bars down from the trolley. I became increasingly upset and frightened. Eventually a nurse came past and I asked her to take the bars down so I could go home. She had just come on for the night shift and was the first and only person to show any care or kindness to me. She explained what was happening (once she had managed to locate my notes) and things got better. I was given a blanket (I had been very cold with only my coat for warmth), the doctor came and actually spent some time explaining things.

This form is aimed at getting patient thoughts on the wards they have stayed in, but I note there is no box for A&E. I have no complaints about the cleanliness of the hospital or my treatment on the ward, but the attitude of the majority of the nursing staff I came into contact with in A&E was disgusting. I felt that most of the ones I saw were rude, unfriendly, unsmiling, unsympathetic, unprofessional and I felt they thought I was just there to annoy them. Might I suggest if they really dislike dealing with sick and vulnerable people so much, perhaps they shouldn't be employed in what is supposed to be a caring profession.

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Response from Eloise Clarke, Communications Manager, Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust

Dear 'Gladimoutofthere'

I am very sorry to read that you felt the staff in our Emergency Department were rude to you and did not explain what was happening with your care.

Please be assured that this is not the sort of comment we regularly receive about our staff and so we are taking your comment very seriously and the Chief Nurse and Director of Operations is looking into the matter. It would help us in our investigations if you could tell the date and time of your visit to our Emergency Department, please can you email me at eloise.clarke@sash.nhs.uk.

Many thanks, and I am sorry your experience of our service was not as you or we would expect.


Eloise Clarke

  • {{helpful}} {{helpful == 1 ? "person thinks" : "people think"}} this response is helpful

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