"Variation between staff attitudes"

About: Northwick Park Hospital / Accident and emergency

(as the patient),

Last July, 2012, I attended A&E on the advice of my Oncology Nurse, who, following a telephone conversation, suspected that I was having a drug reaction - I was breathless and my tongue was beginning to swell. She informed me that she would contact Northwick Park and tell them that I was on the way.

When I arrived, the triage nurse called the SHO, he had received the call from my nurse and took me straight through. He asked a senior nurse where he could put me. I was becoming increasingly breathless at this point. She replied that there was no bed. The Doctor pointed out that I was having difficulty breathing. She shrugged her shoulders, said 'there's no bed, what do you expect me to do? ' and walked away.

The doctor left me briefly and found a couch in a small cubicle in a triage area, he put a sheet on the bed and another, seemingly more professional nurse arrived to assist him.

I received IV hydrocortisone and adrenalin and some salbutamol and responded well to this. There was no monitoring equipment available in this space, and so having been discharged later, when I was well enough, I had to return to my hospital where I was having my cancer treatment, for a chest x ray.

The Doctor and nurse were professional and appropriate. In my opinion the senior nurse was not. I am, myself and Adult Resus Trainer and so was all too aware of what would happen if I was left untreated. In my opinion her actions were, to say the least, potentially detrimental to my health and well being.

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Response from Northwick Park Hospital

We were sorry to learn of your experiences when you attended the A&E department at Northwick Park Hospital. Your feedback will be passed on to the management team for this area so that they can take appropriate action. If you wish to raise your concerns formally you can do so by emailing Nwlh-tr.PatientRelations@nhs.net or by writing to The Chief Executive, Northwick Park Hospital, Watford Road, Harrow, Middlesex, HA3 9LY.

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