"MIstreated. Complained. Hospital lied in response...."

About: Frenchay Hospital

My girlfriend was denied cold water to treat her burnt hand on the basis of cost (a month later they said hygiene.) The triage nurse in charge made power plays for no apparent reason. (Ultimatums to give up some quite cold water in return for a 2 minute wait to have slightly colder water etc.) All this was completely unneccessary as I had her care in terms of cold water under control in the waiting room until they stopped letting me provide said care. Making your patients scream in pain unnecessarily is not part of the job description. The only question is whether they take down this review because they don't like complaints? We complained to the doctor on the day. She said something along the lines of ' I think that's very unlikely' or something. Well it should be. But it wasn't. Later after a long letter explaining the extended terribly poor service proceedings, we eventually got a letter that systematically went through and lied about what had happened to absolve the trust of any wrongdoing. We only went to frenchay as 111 said they'd be ready for us - they weren't. I wouldn't use this a and e again if I had any choice whatsoever. Capable, but unkind and lie. Not good enough. You have to care about the patient more than you do about your own pride. Understandable to make mistakes, though not ideal. Inexcusable to lie.

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Response from Frenchay Hospital

Dear Anonymous – thank you for your email. On checking our database I understand the issues you raise above have been the source of a formal complaint. Trust response explained the rational for not using the cold water fountain to refill the container being used to cool your girlfriend’s burn, and why the way you and she was attempting to do this was not hygienic. The Trust was also careful to apologise that you felt the nurse was being unhelpful, but clarified that she did offer to top up the container from another source. I am also sorry if you feel the response contained lies, however in line with the NHS regulations and Ombudsman’s guidelines it was independently investigated by healthcare professionals to allow the reply to be made. The Trust endeavour to be as open and honest in our responses as possible, and I very much regret that you do feel this was the case. I am afraid I am unable to comment on the experiences of the other patients in A&E at the time you and your girlfriend attended, but I would like to assure you no other complaints were received about the service or care on the same day. I would encourage you to contact the complaints team if you remain unhappy with the response in accordance with the final paragraph of all response letters. Alternatively you can contact the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman again as directed at the foot of the response letter. Kind regards - Steve Sykes Advice and Complaints Team Manager

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