"Being admitted to A&E mid week"

About: Queen's Medical Centre / Accident and emergency

(as the patient),

I was brought into A&E via ambulance one evening with severe head pains. Although I suffer with severe migraines, I had recently been discharged from hospital following surgery, therefore causing my husband lots of concern and so he took full precautions to have me checked out. I was checked by the ambulance staff, passed to hospital staff on arrival at approx 7. 15pm where I was asked a couple of questions. A nurse came to my side and started to take blood, so I thought, but it was rather painful & so I asked how long she would take. She said that she was in fact putting in a needle to prepare for a drip (no explanation). Five minutes later, I was moved out of the initial room I had been in and into the middle of A&E where other trolleys were 'stacking' up. I was then left there and I might add in awful pain, for about 2hrs before a nurse brought me some ibuprofen.

About an hour and half later, a doctor asked if I could get off the trolley and walk to a side room. He checked me over and suggested that I was put on a drip to rehydrate me and given another stronger pain killer as he said it was indeed a migraine. I was put back onto 'the trolley' surrounded by at least another dozen and waited for this treatment to take place. (I thought this would at least be in the privacy of a side room). It was another hour and a half before a nurse came to treat me (after I might add, the original doctor had been twice to check if this treatment had taken place).

Once the fluid had been administered (about an hour), my husband fetched a nurse and asked if I could go home. She fetched the doctor who said this was ok and 6. 5hrs after arriving at A&E, I was outside waiting for a taxi to take me home. The experience was awful, I was in my nightwear, with no privacy and for most of the time, was left next to a waiting room full of people all just sitting watching me.

I would also like to add that my husband was astonished at the unprofessionalism of some of the nursing staff. For the entire time we were in A&E one of the nurses was chewing gum and there seemed there was a general lack of care, a feeling of 'we were just in the way.' I appreciate that staff are very busy and resources are stretched but on a scale of 1-10 this would be rated a 3...awful.

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Response from Nottingham University Hospitals Trust

I am grateful that you have shared your experience with us.

I’m concerned that you felt some colleagues were ‘unprofessional’ and ‘lacked care’. While this is likely to come as little consolation to you, I can assure you that much work is underway at our hospital to improve the quality, safety and timeliness of care for our emergency patients.

It is important to us that we learn and make improvements where patients’ experience isn’t as it should be. By doing so we improve care for future patients.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me directly on 0115 924 9924 ext 62353 if you wish me to look into the particular circumstances of your recent visit to ED in more detail so that we can provide you with fuller answers to the concerns you have rightly raised with us. I will speak to colleagues in the department to remind everyone that chewing gum when on duty is not acceptable nor creates the right impression to our patients.

Simon Evans - General Manager for Acute Medicine Directorate