"Meeting targets"

About: Airedale General Hospital

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I went to the A&E department on Wednesday 29 May, suffering from chest pains. I was seen immediately and given an ECG and a blood test. I was advised that I had probably had a heart attack and that they would be doing an x-ray and a further blood test. In fact nothing happened for the next five hours and I was then transferred to a ward and waited for a bed to be made available. Time passed and the impression of organised chaos was self-evident. I felt sorry for the staff who were obviously doing their best in an impossible situation. I asked the reception nurse what was going on and she said the x-ray and blood test should have been done in A&E and that they would get round to doing it after the doctor had been around in the next couple of hours. At this point I discharged myself. The doctor "read me my rights" and I signed the forms. About an hour later, as I drove south, the medical registrar phoned me on my mobile and advised me to get to a coronary care unit as soon as possible. I went to the Glenfield Hospital, Leicester, where I received exemplary care and attention. So firstly, I would like to thank the medical registrar for saving my life! That said, the care in your A&E department fell short of basic standards and the booking-in of bed patients was a farce and needs immediate change. The staff, frankly, could not cope with the workload and patient care 'went out the window' in preference to the sheer weight of paperwork. If you want further feedback, call me on my mobile which you should find in your records.

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Response from Airedale General Hospital

We are sorry you encountered such a busy A&E and Medical Assessment Unit during your recent visit to Airedale, which affected your personal care and treatment. This is not the experience we want for our patients and we are making every effort to improve the way patients are admitted during these excessively busy times. Thank you for your feedback and for the further discussion with our Unit Manager with responsibility for A&E which has been very helpful.

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