"waiting times"

About: Lister Hospital

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I took my 9 yr old grandson to A&E At around 1 AM this morning.He has been complaining of sometimes severe stomach pains for a few days. I thought he was over the worst but last night it got painful for him so I took him to A&E. The waiting room was packed with patients awaiting to be seen. At one in the morning. We were administered quickly and sent round to the childrens waiting area. Overall we waited for about 4 hours before being told there would be further delay as they had emergencies to deal with.I decided to leave as realistically I felt we would be still sitting there for a further four hours with no chance of seeing a doctor. I will take him to Hemel Hempstead hospital this morning. We live in Hatfield - closest to us is the QE2. The A&E there is closed .Next stop Lister in Stevenage. I really couldn't believe that this' flagship' hospital has allowed its A&E to deteriorate this appalling state. When I questioned a nurse about it she informed me that there was only one doctor to serve both childrens and adults A&E. And she was not joking. On a Saturday night . By way of explanation she mentioned the emergencies they'd had to deal with.But isn't this what hospitals are for? What if they'd had double the emergencies they'd had ? Do they hand out folding camp beds? The people who set the staff rota for weekends,- are they really competent enough to be working in such a high response position? One middle age gent I met on leaving told me he had been there since twelve o'clock mid-day,and he left at 4.30am. This is unacceptable and a disgrace.Oddly I thought, most of the people I met thought there was nothing unusual in these long delays.?? What has happened?

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Response from Lister Hospital

We’re sorry that your grandson has been unwell, and sorry that you feel the service you received fell short of that which you should expect. Your comment is a detailed one so we will try to deal with each point in turn. Firstly, regarding the QEII’s A&E department: it is still very much open, though offers a minor injuries unit for children 24/7 – so you did the right thing by bringing your grandson to the Lister. It’s true that the Lister’s emergency department did see an almost unprecedented number of patients on Saturday night, which can inevitably cause delays. There seems to have been some confusion about the number of doctors on duty that night. We were unfortunately short of one team member for the doctor’s team, rather than it being the case that there was only one doctor. Regarding the delays you experienced, we are sorry you had to wait, but we’re sure you’ll understand that patients presenting with potentially life threatening illnesses do need to be prioritised. Obviously we can’t comment on the circumstances surrounding the other gentleman’s care; he may have been under clinical observation for some or all of this time and the length of time he was with us may well have been entirely appropriate. Although we are never happy that patients have to wait, and we are sorry that you did, we do hope that this response has gone some way to explain the unusual set of circumstances our emergency department experienced on Saturday and we will share your concerns with the emergency department team. If you would like to make further comment, you are welcome to contact us via generalenquiries.enh-tr@nhs.net and we will be happy to respond. Meanwhile, we hope that your grandson is feeling better, and wish you both well for the future.

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