"Visit to A & E Monday 2nd September 2013"

About: Croydon University Hospital

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Arrived A & E at 6.15pm with a letter from my GP who said they had called ahead to let them know I was coming. Had blood pressure taken about 8.30 - told not to eat or drink anything. Had bloods taken at about 10.30 told by nurse it was very busy and that they were waiting for a doctor to see me. I told them I hadn't eaten anything since a bowl of cereal at lunchtime. Told by nurse to have a packet of crisps as I wouldn't have anything done now tonight. Waited and waited till just before midnight - went to the desk who said "oh that doesn't seem right go and ask at that room on your left down the corridor".....A and E staff bleeped surgeon...first i'd been told about waiting for a surgeon??. Waited in triage room, them moved to observation ward where they again bleeped the surgeon...was put in a four person ward with three others who were all obviously in-patients. A nurse came and asked to take my blood pressure, I said it had only been taken a couple of hours ago...her answer not in this department it hasn't! A lady opposite who had also waited hours in A and E and had been informed she was in for the night asked if it was possible for her to have a sandwich and a drink. This was brought only for the nurse to say its lights out now i'm switching the lights out you don't mind do you! So this poor lady was left eating her sandwich fully dressed in the dark. When I left two hours later she was still fully clothed on top of her bed! It was when the lights were switched off that I finally flipped! I'd had no information was left sitting on a bed and then the lights were turned off! I stormed out of the ward and burst into tears...a catalogue of no information, tiredness (sat in A and E for 5 hrs) having worked all day and the lack of information just got too much. I was then sat on an abandoned seat in a corridor waiting for the none existent surgeon to arrive. It took my husband to arrive and get angry before suddenly a surgeon appeared. He decided to do the op there and then and was fantastic once he had arrived. But the support he had in terms of nursing staff who couldn't find the correct medical equipment and had to go searching for it was disgusting. The orange clinical waste bin was full...how long since that had been emptied? The communication between the nursing staff themselves and the patient was none existent and when it happened no apology, blunt and just plain rude. I finally left the hospital at 2 in the morning a total of 73/4 hours of very poor care. It was like being in the film Carry on Nursing! I work as a Manager in the NHS (in a GP surgery) and am always telling people how brilliant it is - but if that's the care and treatment given to patients by A and E at May Day on a daily basis and Croydon NHS Trust think it is acceptable then I hope the Care Quality Commission do an unannounced visit before long and get to see what is happening. After all communication, patient care and quality isn't too much to ask - is it?

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Response from Croydon University Hospital

We are very sorry to hear about your experience with us; the delays and distress that you experienced are not acceptable. We are talking to the teams who were on shift when you came to us to find out how this happened. We would like to meet with you in person to discuss the details with you and can then keep you informed of how we are acting on your comments; if you would like to do this, please contact our PALS team on 020 8401 3210 or on TalkToUs@croydonhealth.nhs.uk.

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