"A & E Doctor Excellent went the extra mile..."

About: Princess Alexandra Hospital (Harlow)

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I arrived at Harlow A&E Emergency due to a trapped nerve in right shoulder and neck area where the pain was so bad I needed emergency medication and help 10/10/13 AM. This pain has been going on since 2003. I believe to be a repetitive strain typing injury that has been left to develop in to this chronic condition. Repeatedly over the years. The tea machine was out of order and another machine. No water available. Nurses very unorganised and brash. I was called in to a room I could not open the door and another patient opened the door for me as I had my bag under left arm as can not use my right arm due to the shooting nerve pain if and when I do. There was a man fixing the ceiling in the room, door wide open and the nurse said all she could do is give me paracetamol. Another nurse was very unkind and unsympathetic. She should not be working in the care industry. I was in extreme pain and said that I needed to see a doctor. I was told to go and sit down and they will call one. Two hours later I was called to see a doctor. The nurses were running around in disorder. He was excellent and very kind. He sat me down in a tidy room and went through my symptoms. He was not impressed by the way my doctors surgery had not done the right thing by sorting this on going pain out by referring me for the right tests. He phoned my doctors immediately and spoke to the staff there to ask why they had not given me the right medication and for them to call me before they close of surgery and give me the right medication(s) by 6pm. I could not thank him enough. I was given oral morphine which helped a little. I arrived home took more parcetamol in terrible pain. I have called the 111 service 12/10/13 AM as my surgery is closed no emergency doctor available on call? If the pain does not ease I will have to go back to A&E 15.5 miles. I can not thank the A&E doctor enough. He deserves the recognition and a medal excellent.

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Response from Head of Patient Engagement, Patient Safety and Quality, The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust

Dear Miss Thomas,

I am sorry you experienced an unkind and unsympathetic staff member. We are always seeking to learn from our patients and it appears to me that your experience would be particularly suitable for this kind of review.

There are a number of issues to which you refer where we could have performed better. I accept the doctor was able to assist, but it remains the case that your overall experience was poor.

In order to progress this plan please contact me via the Patient Experience Team on 01279 827084, Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm and they will be keen to assist

Response from Princess Alexandra Hospital

Dear Miss Thomas, Thank you for taking the time to feed back to us both about the excellent care provided by the Emergency Department doctor but also critically about the lack of organisation you experienced when you were being admitted and the lack of sympathy from the nurse you mention. The pace of activity in Emergency Department is often extremely high and if people appear highly pressured then this is an accurate reflection of what is happening, however this should not mean you experience poor care or your needs are not met and so although I am pleased you were able to receive good care eventually I am concerned about the lack of kindness and sympathy you experienced. For this reason I would be keen for you to make contact with me or my colleagues in Emergency Department as we would like a chance to put things right. You can do this by emailing pals@pah.nhs.uk or calling 01279 827084 and leaving out of hours, or speak to colleagues if you call between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday.

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