"Waiting time in A & E"

About: Heartlands Hospital / Accident and emergency

(as a relative),

My husband attended A&E last night. Albeit a minor injury to his finger it needed attention. We arrived at 6. 30 and were kept waiting until 10. 00pm until he was even looked at. I approached reception on at least 3 occasions for up dates. I was met with a indignant attitude. At 9. 00pm the receptionist rang through and said for us to wait a few minutes we were next but one.

At 9. 40 I approached again and asked for an update I was made to feel guilty for asking. I expressed my disappointment in the service provided and said it was disgusting.

I appreciate there were more urgent cases than my hubands, but why oh why do you not keep people informed. You say you do not want aggression towards your staff but this does not give you the right to treat the public in the manner that you do. Contempt breads contempt!

Surely you should have a triage nurse who looks at injuries as they arrive there by getting people 'in the system ' keeping them moving instead of sitting around. how can you be assessed by looking at a piece of paper. after my last approach to the counter. the receptionist must have rang through, as we were beckoned to go through, only to be confronted by a haughty Doctor chastising us for complaining.

Once seen by the nurses at 10. 00 it took 15 minutes to see to my husband. No complaints there.

I read with interest a comment from someone with the same issue in June of this year. where you have supposed to have made some improvement. I saw no such improvement last night was a very bad example of poor customer experience. I await your response with interest

Do you have a similar story to tell? Tell your story & make a difference ››


Response from Mark Newbold, Chief Executive, Heart of England Foundation Trust

picture of Mark Newbold

Dear Andreda

Thanks for posting. I quite understand the points you are making and I can only apologise for not keeping you and your husband informed about the time you were likely to wait. This A&E is extremely busy and we do prioritise the most urgent patients, as you say, but there is no reason at all to treat people discourteously. As you say, this has been pointed out before but clearly there has been a lapse and I will remind the staff of the importance of this aspect of our care.

There are other, less busy, urgent care centres that can cater for minor injuries and I am wondering whether we should be informing people about these when our waiting times are long? They are not far away and usually offer a speedier service. As a learning point from your post I will look into this option.

I hope your husband's finger is improving and, once again, my personal apologies for the way you were treated

Kind regards

Mark Newbold

Chief Executive

  • {{helpful}} of {{total()}} people think this response is helpful

Response from Simon Jarvis, Head of Patient Engagement, Heart Of England NHS Foundation Trust We have made a change

picture of Simon Jarvis

Dear Andreda

Just to follow up on Dr Newbold's response and let you know that, on registration, patients are now provided with a leaflet by the reception staff which lists the alternative areas they can access for minor injuries. The reception team has also been reminded how important it is to keep people politely informed about waiting times and the need to remain courteous at all times which is absolutely essential. We will continue to monitor this carefullly and ensure all efforts are made to avoid a similar scenario (such as you have described) occuring in future.

Thank you once again for taking the time to leave this feedback.

Best wishes


  • {{helpful}} of {{total()}} people think this response is helpful

Updates, changes and questions related to this story