"Slow and uncaring"

About: The Royal Victoria Infirmary

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Last year I underwent a lot of stress difficulties and as a result fell into depression, I did not get much help from my GP and felt like I had no-one to turn to. I ended up taking an overdose and was taken to the A and E department by my boyfriend. When I got there I felt like i was treated like a student child and not a person with real problems. I was made to drink charchol and left in the waiting room to wait. I had arrived at 3 in the afternoon and was still there at 8 waiting for someone to come back and check my vital signs and talk to counselling services. After waiting all this time I got very anxious and felt so fed up of being in the hospital as it was making me feel worse. I got up to walk out as I could not stand it anymore. My boyfriend wanted me to get help so went to the counter to check what was happening, they had completely forgot they had left me in the waiting room and told my boyfriend to make sure I stayed. At this point I was completey frustrated and feeling worse than i felt and did not feel like I was being helped at all. After a total of a 7 hour wait I was seen and basically did not see anyone from the counselling service, they let me go with the doctor just ringing the counselling serivce asking if it was ok to let me leave. They deemed me ok to leave the hospitial without really confirming why I felt they way I did and putting no appropriate safe guards in place for me. It was only through the help my boyfriend gave me. The NHS did not really provide good standards for those with mental health issues or any safe-guards to avoid a repeat of the event or any preventation or help for the future or how to get over the problems I faced.

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Responses

Response from The Royal Victoria Infirmary

Thank you taking the time to post your comments on NHS Choices about your attendance at the Emergency Department at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in October last year. As your comment is posted anonymously, we are unable to investigate your concerns in detail. We can say that the usual pathway for patients attending the Emergency Department with mental health issues is as follows: All patients will have an initial conversation with a registered nurse who will then arrange for further more detailed assessment and a triage category will be allocated. Triage category is determined by the patients’ clinical presentation and clinical need at that time. This will determine expected waiting time to be seen. All patients presenting with mental health issues are seen by an Emergency Department doctor and then their case is discussed with the mental health team. They then make a decision based upon the information provided as to whether a face to face consultation is required or the patient can be followed up by community services. I would wish to reassure you that the medical staff would not have discharged you if they felt you were at risk and we would like to apologise to you that you did not feel fully reassured by, or involved in, the decision to discharge you. In response to your concerns about your increased waiting time in the Emergency Department. Again we would wish to reassure that the Department achieves above the national target set of 95% of all patients being seen, admitted or discharged within four hours, and we are sorry if your wait was longer than this. We do encourage patients to speak to a nurse or the reception if they feel their condition worsens in the department. Once again, as your comments are anonymous we are unable to explore the specific issues you have raised but would welcome the opportunity to directly address your concerns. If you wish to take this opportunity, please contact us and we can further investigate. You can do this by contacting Angela McNab – Matron, Emergency Department or Mr P Anderson, Patient Relation Manager, or one of his team, on 0191 233 6161.

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