"A&E experience"

About: Leighton Hospital

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Being a health professional myself I was embarrassed and dissatisfied with my experience at Leighton Hospital today after attending with my son who has sustained a knee injury at approx. 09:20am 1. Triage the nurse on duty clearly did not want to be at work or at least that was the impression she gave - My son was not able to weight bear on his injured leg yet he was invited into a small room that was not accessible with the wheel chair, he hopped in with no assistance from the nurse and he asked politely if I could come in with him the Triage nurse gave us a look of annoyance and allowed me into the small room she commented there was little point as we wouldn't be in there many minutes she attempted to take a history - My son explained he had received ACL surgery in the past on his knee I was somewhat taken aback when she asked which ANKLE it was he had the problem with? we then proceeded to wait in the department for over 3.5 hours during this time my son who was sitting in a wheel chair as he could not put any weight on his injured leg was told by an ambulance person to give up his wheel chair for someone more needy! I was quite amazed as surely the fact he could not walk would class his need to be significant enough to warrant a chair! He did as he did not like to question the ambulance drivers authority eventually after asking staff about our wait we asked again at approx. 13:10 why we were still waiting by this time my son had received no further analgesia and was becoming more uncomfortable we watched as 10 people who had arrived after us were called through - we understand that people are prioritised and the most needy seen first The receptionist kindly enquired and we were called through into Minors. the staff apologised for the wait and explained how his A&E card had been put in the wrong BOX! so basically admitting that had completely forgotten about him we waited another 10 minutes or so for the Nurse in Minors to come through during this time we listened behind the curtain to the conversations by the staff complaining how busy and how short staffed they were - we were then asked to have any xray due to the nature of the problem the nurse felt that he needed an orthopaedic opinion and would arrange the necessary paper work whilst we were in xray -we sat outside xray in the A&E department for approx. 10-15 minutes- then to add to our disappointment we were informed they were closing the xray room as it was too HOT and were then asked to go to the main xray department -I was offered no assistance with my son at this time and pushed him to xray - we had the xray fairly quickly and I pushed him back to the department we were then met with "Oh here you" are the bed manager has been looking for you! after receiving a set of crutches just in case I then had to push him to ward 15 on arrival we introduced ourselves and again shocked to be told "sorry we don't know who you are - the staff sourced the information and we were seen at 14.30

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Response from Leighton Hospital

I am extremely sorry that your experience was so poor. The Emergency Department team strive to ensure a positive patient experience and, on this occasion, this obviously did not happen. I will highlight the issues raised with all the team through our regular meetings and share your comments for discussion and reflection on team attitude and communication. If you would like to discuss your concerns in person, then please give the customer care team a call on 01270 278098 and they will be happy to support you in whatever way you require. With regards to wheelchair availability, the Trust has just commissioned a number of new wheelchairs as it was recognised there was a shortage. These are now available in the hospital. I would like to apologise again and reinforce that we are working hard to ensure resolution of the concerns you have raised. Sue Talbot-Crosby, Matron, Accident and Emergency Department.

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