"A&E - Mixed Care"

About: St Peter's Hospital (Chertsey)

Anything else?

When I was taken to A&E by ambulance I was seen very quickly. The nurses and consultant were first rate as were the ambulance team. I was diagnosed and treated very well.

I was discharged, but on getting up I could not stand and collapsed, the discharge process continued uninterrupted. Two nurses helped me into a chair. I was left in in that chair in the main waiting area in a state of undress.

My husband was called to say I was ready to go home. On arrival he was shocked to see me in that state and tried to get me dressed in the disabled toilet but because I could not stand I collapsed again and hit my head.

My husband went to reception for help to lift me and was advised that he would have to wait for triage! Eventually two nurses saw my plight; they and my husband helped me up. I then had to go back through triage which took over eight, yes eight hours only to be told there was nothing they could do as there were no beds and my husband should collect me and I would be helped into the car.

Quite how they expected him to get me into our house was beyond me. He had no option but collect me and in the process of transferring me to the house he hurt himself as he practically carried me from the car to the house and upstairs.

To say my treatment was mixed is somewhat of an understatement. As Henry Wadsworth Longfellow once wrote: "And when she was good, she was very, very good, But when she was bad she was horrid".

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Response from Ashford and St. Peter's Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Dear Kathy

Firstly I would like to apologise for any distress that you and your husband experienced whilst in our A&E department. I remember your visit and that after you became unsteady on your feet we discussed your symptoms in detail and whether this was normal for you. After agreeing that you still felt able to go home you kindly offered to wait for your husband with a cup of tea in the waiting area as we were extremely busy within the department that day.

Judging from your description of what transpired after that time, it was perhaps the wrong decision to continue with your discharge and I am sorry if a breakdown in communication led to you going through triage again and essentially back to the start of the process.

Whilst it is no excuse for any type of poor care, we were extremely busy in our A&E department that day and some patients did have to wait a long time whilst we prioritised more urgent cases.

There are clearly some areas where our care fell short of the high standards we expect and our staff should always be vigilant and willing to help when patients need assistance. I would welcome the chance to meet with you and discuss your experiences in more detail – it is from feedback such as yours that we learn the most.

Thanks for taking the time to share this experience. If you are willing to meet please contact me via the Patient Experience Team on 01932 723553.

Kind regards

Kaye Finch

A&E Sister