"Waste of time at A&E"

About: NHS 24 Royal Alexandra Hospital / Accident & Emergency Royal Alexandra Hospital / Ophthalmology

(as a relative),

At about 2100 I received a call from my mother who was in a panic. She was experiencing flashing in her eyes and blurry vision. She had phoned NHS 24 who advised this was a medical emergency, she must get to hospital immediately. She should phone a taxi and make sure that whatever happened, the driver must get her to A&E. As my father was away with work, my mother was in a panic. I told her I would get her at the hospital, which I did.

I entered very worried and found my mother sat in the waiting room at Paisley Royal Alexandria. Seemingly a 'medical emergency' doesn't mean anything and she was put at the back of the queue. Time now 2230.

After about 2 hours, she was moved to another waiting area. At 0200, I left and my sister stayed with my mother.

The outcome was that at 0400, she was seen and told that there was nothing to be done, come back in the morning.

Five and a half hours to be told nohthing is fairly appalling - why do NHS 24 regard a suspeted detached retina as a medical emergency, but the hospital had it as a very low priority? When you are faced with the propsect of losing the sight in your eye, you expect everything to be done to stop this happening.

As it happens, the symptoms have gone away, but if anything happens again, the doctor told her to get to a hospital immediately as it is very serious.

We'll not go back to the Royal Alexandria - blindness is too big a risk to take.

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Response from Shona Lawrence, Patient Affairs Manager, NHS 24

picture of Shona Lawrence

Thank you for your feedback. I am very sorry to read of your mother's experience.

Within your feedback, you have mentioned that contact was made with NHS 24. NHS 24 welcomes feeback on its services and if your mother, or yourself, feel that there is any specific area of concern with our service that you would like us to investigate further, we would very much welcome direct contact in this regard. Please do not hesitate to contact our Patient Affairs Team on 0141 337 4582 or email us directly at patientaffairs@nhs24.scot.nhs.uk

With kind regards

Shona Lawrence

Patient Affairs Manager

NHS 24

0141 337 4582

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