"visited emengency care, never again"

About: Hexham General Hospital

I dropped a neighbour off and parked the car, she had already checked in to the unit, I sat in reception area and when I asked a male and female couple about the notice board that said 3-4 hours, before being attended to, the told me their story. They said they had been there 5 hours over an x-ray of a twisted ankle. The lady had been shown to a room to wait and sat there for 2 hours before the staff found her, they accused her sharply, of being lost, and she replied that she had only done as she was told. Therefore, when I entered the unit and saw very little activity or people, just the sound of hilarity from the nurses station, which I found inappropriate, I questioned a nurse as to how long before my neighbour would be seen by a doctor, she checked and said 3 hours. I decided to go home which would take approximately 30 minutes, and come back later, when called by telephone. I arrived home and the phone rang to come back immediately. When I returned my neighbour was outside the hospital, kneeling on a bench, in the dark, in the cold, and in extreme pain, and very obviously upset. I asked to see the senior nurse, who was dressed in dark blue, to complain about whether she knew the situation of her patient and the inconvenience to me of misinformation regarding the time of doctor attendance. She employed the technique used in Airports and other government institutions of “passive aggressive” response by concentrating on the manner of my agitated state instead of dealing or responding to the poor care issue or the misinformation issue. She informed the doctor, but he was busy, so I left to move the car, and my neighbour, in immense pain asked me to take her home immediately, and not wait for the doctor.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Hexham General Hospital

Dear Sir/Madam I am very sorry that you have not had a good experience at Hexham Hospital and that you felt misinformed by staff about the length of time your neighbour would be in A&E. I understand that this resulted in an immediate return to the hospital when you arrived home. I am also very sorry that your neighbour was in extreme pain when returned to collect her. This not something we would ever want for any patient that attended one of our hospitals for care. The anonymous nature of the review means that it is difficult to respond in a more personal manner. I would very much like to do this for both you and your neighbour. If this is something you feel would be helpful please email me at, Joanne.Mackintosh@northumbria-healthcare.nhs.uk Best Wishes Jo

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