"Problem of pain and length of wait at A + E"
About: Russells Hall Hospital Russells Hall Hospital Dudley DY1 2HQ
Posted by Nick Stansfeld
1] My daughter was experiencing acute abdominal pain last Monday 25 March. We arrived at A + E at about 7 pm. Not only was she in great pain, she looked it: very pale, listless, almost in a state of collapse. Despite the notices on display about pain, no member of staff seemed charged with observing patients to see if rapid assistance was required. Eventually my other daughter, who was with me, pointed this out to a member of the triage staff, but they should have been much quicker off the mark. 2] An official 3 hour (!!) waiting time for A + E is far too long!! Far more resources seem to be urgently required. 3] When my daughter was discharged (the following afternoon) I had to seek out a verbal 'debrief'' on her diagnosis. The doctor I spoke to did not seem 'rushed off her feet' - it obviously just did not seem to occur to anyone that a (brief - 2 minutes) face-to-face debrief is re-assuring and informative to both patient and (in this case) parent, and could prevent the same thing happening again! 4] A more general thought: On all my visits to RH over the years (my own parents came here a number of times as they got older) I have never seen anyone obviously 'in charge' keeping 'an eye' on things - a kind of Matron figure - as often happens in Schools. Such a person is re-assuring, especially to people who aren't very well!! 5] I notice that several other reviews address the problem of pain and some of them say the problem is greater at night, as was the case with my daughter. - Overall I think RH needs to give far more thought to what it must be like for patients at A + E (in this case) and adjust their practice to the 'other side of the counter'.