"Slow to be seen at A&E"

About: Leicester Royal Infirmary / Accident and emergency

(as a parent/guardian),

Following an accident in the garden I had to take my 7yr old to A&E minors. A slab had dropped on her foot and it very quickly became bruised and swollen, she was unable to weight bear and I was concerned it was broken. I was aware it was a potentially busy time, Saturday evening is usually busy in emergency departments around the country.

On arrival, the department was busy, but disappointingly we waited over an hour to be triaged. During this time I saw only one nurse and one HCA who were clearly very busy. Three hours later we saw a doctor who asked how we got on at X Ray, when I told him we had not been sent for one he told me to take her round right away.

Once we had been X Rayed, we were sent back to cubicles, asked to move by one doctor and then told not to by another. There was clearly some organisational issues and there weren't enough cubicles for the patients they had in the department.

The treatment we received, was good considering the pressure the team were under, but the waiting time could have been reduced if there had been an adequate number of staff in the unit, and this would subsequently have increased patient flow and prevented the build up of patients in the unit.

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Responses

Response from University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust We are preparing to make a change

Dear Salsa12

Thank you for your comments about concerns you have regarding the Emergency Department (ED) at the Leicester Royal Infirmary. I have been able to investigate what took place and I am now in a position to report the findings.

Firstly I would like to apologise for the service you experienced.

Our ED is currently experiencing an unprecedented high number of, as are the majority of ED’s across the country. The majority of patients that come to our ED arrive in our majors area – that is where the people most in need of emergency care are sent. When the majors area is especially busy there is a need to pull staff from other areas of the department to make that area clinically safe. We always aim to do this without making other areas clinically unsafe.

It appears from your comments that you arrive in the department during such a busy period. The minimum staff we can leave the paediatric department with is 1 nurse, 1 Health Care Assistant and a senior doctor, this is as you describe. We are also carrying a lot of vacancies within the medical team establishment making the need to pull from other areas ever increasing.

This does not excuse the poor service you describe. As a department we pride ourselves on the care and compassion we show our patients, and I am disappointed to hear that this was not your experience.

We are currently recruiting to our vacancies and are waiting for our new starters to start in post. As we fill our vacancies the need to move staff around should reduce, meaning people do not have to have the same experience you did.

I apologise again for the service you experienced, if I can be of further assistance please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours sincerely

Martin Watts

Service Manager, Emergency Care Clinical Business Unit

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