"A&E encounter"

About: William Harvey Hospital / Accident and emergency

(as the patient),

I was admitted to Wlliam Harvey Hospital for on-going issues with my heart rhythm. The department was incredibly busy but nursing staff were excellent at keeping people up to date on what was happening and could not be faulted.

I was seen by a young doctor who took down various notes. He was of the impression that my symptoms had lessened after my four hour wait (but in the time I had been there I had ONE ECG on my arrival and nothing else in the remaining 4 hours- not even someone listening to my chest with a stethescope. ) He went to confer with an SHO who duly came to see me.

He was very breezy with his tone and suggested that the was nothing they could do as I am being treated at St Thomas's for my condition anyway, so not even the Cardiologists would do anything if they saw me the next day (adding that he didn't think there would be any in tomorrow (Friday) anyway).

I explained I was still feeling quite poorly and sick with heavy limbs and dizziness and he suggested I would be better off feeling "grotty" in my own bed instead of feeling so in a hospital bed. He went on to explain that there were insufficient heart monitors in the hospital to keep me checked overnight and then "quietly" confided in me that he felt that hospital beds were just "waiting spaces for death" and I probably would feel better off being at home.

Within five minutes of this conversation at 3am, I had the cannula removed, out the door and was trying to work out how to make the 12 mile journey home.

I am not "elderly" but equally I felt that the way that things were handled were not in line with how I would expect to be treated as a patient. I consider myself to have a sense of humour but even I found that a comment like that from a healthcare professional (let alone a senior one) was inappropriate and would question that, if that was how this doctor actually felt, why is he in this job in the first place?

I am at home now, feeling sick, dizzy, with heavy limbs and an irregular heart rate. I have contacted St Thomas's who will do their best to get me an appointment with my cardiologist sooner that the one I am scheduled for in a couple of week's time. I am too afraid to call for am ambulance again if I start to feel faint or continue to be unable to eat and feel sick because I fear that I will be kicked out again after a few hours with people washing their hands of me as I am already "being treated elsewhere."

Nursing staff and paramedic teams could not have been better - doctors, on the other hand, have left me very disillusioned.

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Response from Julie Pearce, Chief Nurse + Director of Quality + Operations, East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for feeding back about your experience and I am sorry that you did not find the doctors in A&E helpful. Please do email me your details and I will ensure that we follow this through for you. My email address is Julie.pearce1@nhs.net.

I will let the nursing staff know how much you appreciated their care.

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