"Poor service at Colchester General Hospital"

About: Colchester General Hospital / Accident and emergency

(as a relative),

My husband was referred by our GP to the emergency assessment unit at Colchester hospital to investigate a possible blood clot On his lung.

We arrived at about 6.45pm to be met with utter chaos! Once we were registered there was no one to check in with at the triage unit. After about 45. Minutes a nurse took his temperature and other observations and moved us into another waiting area but no one had asked anything about why he was there!

After another 3 hours a doctor came and arranged an X-ray and blood tests but told us that the results would take at least another 2 hours to come back. I kept asking staff about food as my husband is diabetic and they kept saying that someone would get him a sandwich. At just after midnight the doctor came back with the results and said he would advise my husband to stay in overnight to see a consultant in the morning as his X-ray results were inconclusive although he thought they showed infection. He also said that a nurse would get him some food and also a blanket - the bed only had a bottom sheet and a single pillow. I left the hospital to drive home. At about 2.00 am, I got a call from my husband to say he was in a taxi. No one had bought any food or bedding, he was cold and hungry and couldn't find any nursing staff to ask for help. He asked me to call the hospital to let them now that he had left. When I rang it took several minutes for the ward telephone to be answered. I was also told that someone had tried to give him medication at 11. 50 but they couldn't find him. At 11. 50 I was still with him and no one tried to find him!

Do you have a similar story to tell? Tell your story & make a difference ››


Response from Paul Searle, Head of Communications, Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust

picture of Paul Searle

I apologise you’ve not had a good patient experience.

We try really hard to improve our services based on the comments we receive from our patients, their relatives or carers.

We would like the opportunity to discuss your experiences more fully and to apologise in person. If you are willing I would appreciate it if I could ask the matron to contact you. Could you email me, using the reference “Pat Opinion Poor service at Colchester General Hospital Posted by Unhappy user (as a relative)”, please?

Many thanks

Paul Searle, Head of Communications

Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust


  • {{helpful}} of {{total()}} people think this response is helpful

Updates, changes and questions related to this story