"Long wait to be seen at Macclesfield"

About: Macclesfield District General Hospital / Older people's healthcare

(as a relative),

My husbands doctor referred him to Macclesfield Hospital yesterday (Thursday). He has DVT and was breathless on exertion.

We arrived at 5.30 and after 7 hours of waiting had not seen a doctor. The ward on A & E wanted to close, just one nurse on after 8 and no doctors to been seen. The nurse did her best, but we saw others just strolling past, back and forth, with seemingly nothing doing.

At 11.30 we were taken to Ward 3 in the hopes of seeing a doctor. Not once did I see the nurses wash their hands and they were going from patient to patient.

While we were there, an elderly lady was brought in, she had been sitting in A & E ward for longer than us, and put in a bed in the ward with all men. At 12.30 we decided to leave, my husband was in a lot of pain and we were both getting very agitated, tired and hungry. The nurses tried to get a doctor to come but couldn't guarantee we wouldn't sit there all night. We left. Disgusted.

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Response from

We are very sorry to hear about you and your husband’s experience visiting our A&E department. The department was particularly busy that evening and we had an unusually high number of patients who had been referred to see a medical doctor by their GP. In the A&E department, the most ill patients are seen first, rather than on a first come first served basis. On Thursday evening the doctors were very busy treating a seriously ill patient on A&E.

The ward on A&E is called the Emergency Assessment Unit, and this unit is a day time unit only, and is only staffed between 9am and 8pm. It is usual practice to transfer all patients from this unit to another area by 8pm.

We regret that you did not see any of the nurses on Ward 3 washing their hands in between patients. East Cheshire NHS Trust takes hand hygiene very seriously. Monthly audits are carried out on all hospital wards in the form of a patient survey; the results of which are fed back to the Trust Board. 77% of patients rated nurses washing their hands in between patients as excellent on Ward 3 in June. The remaining 23% rated it as good. Additional monthly handwashing audits are carried out at ward level and results reviewed by the Trust’s Infection Prevention and Control Team, these are then sent to the ward Sisters and Matrons for action as necessary. Your comments regarding nurses’ handwashing on Ward 3 have been passed on to the Infection Prevention and Control team.

All East Cheshire NHS Trust hospitals comply with Department of Health guidelines regarding mixed sex wards. The guidance allows mixing in short stay areas or assessment areas where there is critical equipment. Ward 3 (the Medical Assessment Unit) and A&E fall into that category. However this Trust has recently changed the approach to delivering mixed sex accommodation on Ward 3 and mixing only occurs when there is severe pressure on beds. The mixing of male and female patients on the same bay is continually monitored. On the rare occasions when patients are mixed, staff are required to resolve the situation as soon as possible and report back to management. All patients going to Ward 3 on Thursday evening were informed beforehand that there may be a possibility of being admitted to a mixed bay, and that this was only temporary until a bed on a single sex bay could be found.

Your comments have been passed on to senior staff on A&E and Ward 3. The Trust strives to give a high standard of care at all times, and we are disappointed that you had a bad experience this time. Please accept our apologies.

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