"My recent visit to your A&E department"

About: NHS Direct NHS Trust Stafford Hospital / Accident and emergency

(as a relative),

I recently had cause to bring my wife to Mid-Staffs Hospital’s A&E department for emergency treatment after she suddenly collapsed and became violently sick. I phoned NHS Direct and after the usual Q&A they advised me to take her to your casualty department, they phoned ahead and informed A&E of our problem. .

On arrival at Stafford Hospital, I parked near the Ambulance “drop-off” area and proceeded to get my wife out of the car complete with “sick-bowl”. Two ambulance men who saw I was struggling came over and helped, one going into A&E and got a wheel-chair, the other helped me get my wife into the chair and gave her a proper “sick-bag”. They then helped us into the department.

The lady at reception took our details, commented on my wife’s condition, and after checking with someone in the office next door, told me to wheel her round to see the triage-nurse.

We were then taken through to the A&E department where a trolley was provided and my wife made more comfortable. We were told there was a delay as the department was “quite busy”, this was quite obvious, there were 6 other people on trolleys scattered along the corridors in the department. After about 45minutes my wife was checked by a young lady doctor, questioned on her condition and its onset then assured she would be treated as soon as possible.

After a further period, we were taken to a cubicle and further checks were made by the same young lady that had seen my wife earlier, blood’s etc were taken and a saline drip and anti-sickness drugs were administered. She was also taken for a brain scan. When she came back from the scanner she was installed in the recovery area and after a further period visited by another young doctor and later a senior doctor, I presume the A&E consultant. After many more questions and tests it was indicated that my wife would probably be admitted as there was no “definitive” conclusion to her condition. She was in fact admitted to the Acute Medical Ward. She was eventually diagnosed with “Labyrinthitis” and discharged under the care of an ENT consultant.

I would like to say, the treatment my wife received from this hospital and its staff was FIRST CLASS. From the gentlemen in the parking area to the doctors, consultant and ward staff. They were all absolutely professional and caring in there manner.

I can only say a big “thank you” to all your staff who, under very challenging conditions did a wonderful job.

I understand plans are afoot to close some departments at Stafford hospital, the A&E Dept. included. I would suggest whoever has made this proposal consider its logic carefully! On the day my wife attended A&E, there had been 130 patients visit this department up to the time we were ushered to the ward (19: 30), no doubt the count progressed further.

I recently retired after working for many years at a hospital that would be within the catchment area of people affected by the closure of Stafford. The hospitals within the surrounding area are already suffering from the effects of staff-cuts and ward closures. Anyone who is under the illusion that these facilities would absorb the extra workload generated by reduction in the services supplied by Mid Staff’s is living in cuckoo-land, these hospitals already have problems coping with their present workload.

Stafford has no doubt had its problems, but a strategy that dictates the closure of facilities on the grounds that suitable management can’t be found to run them is madness, and if that’s the policy the government is applying, I for one could name a number of government departments that display similar criteria. !

There have been monumental improvements in the services provided by this hospital of late and it should be given the opportunity to provide the services we, the local community demand.

My Father-in-Law died at Stafford in Dec 2006 after surgery for a broken hip. On many occasion after reading reports in newspapers I have thought maybe there is a list somewhere I should put his name down onto, it may be “worth a few bob” or get my name in the paper. I would however have to “work around” a few of the facts. He had fallen out of bed at home, despite a rail being installed He had had successful surgery to repair the fracture but had developed pneumonia due to the anesthesia and him not being able to complete prescribed physiotherapy due to long-term acute asthma. Oh, and he was 89 years of age!

I have to wonder how many of the cases highlighted in the press have had similar circumstances attached but not included in the reports for fear of “taking the edge” off the story?

May my wife and I say a big “THANK YOU” to the doctors and staff of Stafford General Hospital and wish you a long and prosperous future!

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Response from Head of Patient Experience, Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust

Dear "Bob Rugeley"

Thank you for taking the time to provide us with this feedback. I am delighted that your experience of our hospital was so positive. Comments and support like yours really do make a difference to our staff who are working very hard to make a difference to the patients in their care. I have shared your posting with the team who are undergoing the current review of services and the A&E staff.

Kind Regards

Angela Grocott

Head of Patient Experience

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