"The doctor herself was pleasant ..."

About: The Whittington Hospital

(as a relative),

What I liked

The doctor herself was pleasant and competant.

What could be improved

Waiting time was astonishingly long. For about a half hour's treatment, we waited 4 hours.

In this time, no updates were provided. We learned from the doctor that the triage nurse had (a) applied the initial bandage too tight and (b) not scheduled the x-ray she said she would.

The delay added to the pain and distress of the doctor's treatment as, for example, the bandage had become more stuck to the wound than it would otherwise. The delay also left my wife more tired and distressed than necessary, having had no food and having lost lots of blood.

The doctor's "stitchng room" shockingly had no stiches, bandages, swabs, or anything. From the waiting room, I witnessed the doctor three times coming out to search other rooms for necessary items. Various nurses sat around chatting.

The father of another patient made similar comments (his young son had a large gash in the arm that also took hours to treat). He reported that A&E in his home country (Algeria) is superior!

We will now be using the NHS website to identify other nearby A&E's in case of future need, as we would only return to Whittington if we did not have the 10 extra minutes it would take to reach the next nearest.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from The Whittington Hospital

We’re sorry to hear about your distress when you visited our Emergency Department. Please accept our apologies for the service you received. We hope your wife is now fully recovered. We are glad that the doctor was helpful and competent even if the nurse was apparently less so.

We do try to see patients as soon as we can and we recognise that sometimes people have to wait. It’s also true that we don’t give you enough information about how long you might have to wait and soon we are introducing a screen in the Emergency Department, which will show predicted waiting times. We are also going to train our staff to communicate better.

Occasionally staff do have to look for dressings in an adjacent cubicle, sometimes for a particular piece of equipment or sometimes because nurses haven’t had time to replenish the dressings trolleys.

However we are reviewing this process and are about to appoint a care assistant whose principal task will be to ensure that the dressings trolleys are topped up at regular intervals. Hopefully that will solve that problem.

We’re sorry your experience was not as good as it could have been. Thanks for your comments, which we are now acting on so that the service will be better for all local people who choose the Whittington

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