"Rude staff, no facilities, worst A&E experience..."

About: Leighton Hospital

Last night my husband who is seriously ill with leukaemia and myelodysplasia, was taken into A&E at Leighton Hospital, Crewe, by ambulance as he was having extreme spasms in his left arm, and I was worried it was astroke. They arrived at approx. 8.30pm. I followed in my car, after having collected together his meds, etc. At first he was put on a trolley and left in a corridor. The trolley was very hard, and my husband has neutropenic anaemia, due to lack of platelets. He has extensive bruising to his body. There were no pillows for his lower back, or his head. When I arrived at the hospital at approx. 9.20pm, he had just been put in room 6, to await examination and attention from a doctor. I had taken all his hospital notes with me from Salford Royal Hospital, including medical reports, copy letters from his Consultant, etc. It was quite clear from these notes that my husband was weak and very seriously ill. Noone came in to see him for a long time. A nurse came in and said she would do his "obs". She then disappeared for about 40 mins. Another nurse appeared to do his blood pressure. Noone really spoke to us or acknowledged that we had come to A&E because we needed help and reassurance. As each nurse came in, I told them that my husband could not have a canula inserted because of the risk of haemorrhage, and neither could he have a normal blood test for the same reason. He has a PICC line in his right arm for the purpose of taking blood and receiving blood and platelets. I asked the nurse if she could take the blood through his PICC line, as that's what it's for. "Oh no," she said, "I don't know how to do that. We don't do that here." I asked if there was anyone in A&E who could take blood through a PICC line only to be told that there wasn't. The nurse said she'd try to find a doctor who could do it. She never reappeared again. So, no blood was taken. After another couple of hours, I went to ask if there was anywhere I could buy a sandwich, or anything to eat, as I am diabetic and hadn't eaten for several hours. Completely unconcerned, a nurse just said, "No. The shop closes at 5.30pm." My husband by this time was becoming more and more distressed and uncomfortable. He has extensive bruising from lack of platelets and had been lying on a very hard trolley for over 3 hours. I again asked if there were any pillows available only to be told "No." At this stage we were getting pretty desperate. I asked the Sister when we might be seen and received a torrent of rudeness pointing out that they were busy and we were not the only patients waiting, and we should not expect preferential treatment. I asked her not to speak to me like that, and words were exchanged. Funny how after another couple of minutes, a pillow appeared. Where did that come from if they didn't have any? At 1am a doctor came and said they couldn't do anything to help my husband. Leighton A&E leaves much to be desired. We shall not go again.

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Responses

Response from Leighton Hospital

I am extremely saddened and sorry to read such a dreadful account of a your experiences within this department . I apologise for the lack of communication and compassion demonstrated. I would be happy to discuss your concerns in greater detail if the you would like to contact the customer care team on 01270 278098 to see what lessons can be learned to prevent such experiences from happening again. Sue Talbot-Crosby, Matron Accident and Emergency

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