"Down syndrome uncle treated as second class..."

About: The Whittington Hospital

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I took my down syndrome uncle to the Whittington A&E as he was suffering from sever gastric pain. Two hours later we were still waiting in reception to be seen by the doctors. Apparently there was only one doctor looking after all the patients that were there. As he was not getting seen, he started to become very restless and wanted to go home. We asked the nurse how long it would be. They informed us that we were next, then also told us that they had already called his name. This was a blatant lie, as there was 6 of us sitting with him and not one of us heard the nurse "call us". To make things worse when we tried to talk to the member of staff at reception, they ignored us. Myself and my family are outraged that we were treated so poorly and can't believe that such a huge hospital has such a lack of care for disabled people.

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Response from The Whittington Hospital

Please pass on our sincere apologies to your uncle. The department has recently employed a consultant with specialised knowledge of caring for people with learning disabilities and we are now providing an on-going education programme for doctors and nurses regarding care for patients with learning disabilities. We would normally ask the triage nurse using a special triage tool to inform the nurse/doctor in charge if a person presents in the department with learning disabilities so that we can make reasonable adjustments as required i.e. to see people with learning disabilities more quickly where possible. I am sorry that these processes did not avoid the unreasonable waits you experienced. If you would like to contact the PALS department to establish more information please contact them on t: 020 7288 5551 or email : whh-tr.whitthealthPALS@nhs.net

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