"Visit to A&E in Medway "

About: Medway Maritime Hospital / Accident and emergency

(as the patient),

I had to attend A&E on New Year’s Day (big mistake!) because I had an altercation with a very sharp knife (cutting vegetables for dinner).

I reported to the reception area on arrival and was dealt with straight away and then told to wait, for triage. As I turned round to find a seat because I felt very shaky, I was met with a very busy room with nowhere to sit initially.

I had contemplated sitting on the floor because I didn’t feel too good but didn’t because the floor was very dirty. A man then moved his young boy from a seat and offered me the seat. At this time of the year, I would have thought more provision for seating could have been made?

After waiting for approximately half an hour, I was then triaged and told to wait for a call from the minor injury unit (MIU) The time for waiting after triage was supposed to be 2 hours, but in the end I waited approximately 3 hours. During the three hours, I noticed that people seemed to walking straight into the MIU (some of the time the door was open and sometimes it was closed, I would have thought this door should have been secured? ). I thought this rather strange, and after eventually being called to be treated, I witnessed a man in a wheelchair come into the treatment area of the MIU asking for a bed and asking why he couldn’t have a bed!

The person treating me was drawn into the conversation with this person and I didn’t feel that he was concentrating on my treatment. I became a little concerned, as I felt vulnerable sitting in a treatment chair in the entrance to the MIU and where it seemed that anyone could walk into the treatment area. I also was concerned that the person treating me allowed himself to be distracted by this person that had just wandered into the MIU treatment area.

Further observation of the MIU area was not pleasing as I noticed that the place looked untidy, papers and folders everywhere and unclean. I noticed that there was what looked like cotton wool or gauze on the floor in places and the general atmosphere was of chaos. MIU staff were attentive, but you could tell they were busy and they just wanted to get you treated and out as I was supposed to have my wound cleaned but it wasn’t. Unfortunately, I didn’t realise the wound hadn’t been cleaned until I was home and reflecting back on my visit.

I appreciate that this was a particularly busy day for all staff and I am not placing any blame on the staff, but there are certain aspects of the visit that I would like to see improved, because I wouldn’t want other patients to have the experience that I had.

I also think that patients could be better informed on what is happening while they are in A&E as this can cause anxiety and in some cases could exasperate circumstances.

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Response from Medway NHS Foundation Trust

I was sorry to read that you found the experience of the emergency department very distressing and that the facilities were not up to standard on that night.

We have a very strict action plan on how to improve the cleanliness and tidiness of the department that is reviewed on a daily basis.

The department is now being updated and redesigned to ensure a better experience for our patients.

The Nurse practitioner will be spoken to as you should have been kept up to date and reassured and clearly this did not happen for which I offer my apologies.

If you need to discuss further then please contact me on;

Inma Diaz Alonso Nurse lead- 07432641371

Thank you for bringing to my attention.

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