"My 83 year old father was treated ..."

About: The James Cook University Hospital

(as the patient),

What I liked

My 83 year old father was treated at A&E for a deteriorating "delicate" condition that is not easy for him to talk about. We were seen quickly, all staff (nurses and especially the female A&E doctor) were polite, friendly, patient and extremely respectful (not always the case with elderly patients). There was no significant waiting (we were initially seen within 10 minutes). The advice/treatment was good and very reassuring.

What could be improved

I always feel A&E would be better if the nurses explained what was going to happen next - ie "there will be a short wait of perhaps xx minutes until a Doctor is available to see you", or "there will now be a wait until a test result comes through, this may take xx minutes". I appreciate that predicting times is not always easy and I assume that nurses don't do this to avoid being accused of misleading people if something takes longer than their estimate.

Anything else?

I was surprised at how small the waiting area was - it can easily get full which gives an unfair impression of pressure on the system. It can also be very daunting if it is very full of sick / injured patients or (eg) people with mental illness or dementia waiting to be seen.

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Response from The James Cook University Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to write your comments on the NHS Choices website, we do value this feedback.

I am pleased that your general comments about the department are very positive. We are attempting to further improve communication and are trying to develop new roles using the voluntary sector to help us.

The size of the waiting room is a more difficult issue and reflects ever increasing demand on the A&E Department. The A&E staff operate a triage system (patients sorted according to the seriousness of their injuries or illness, so that treatment priorities can be allocated), to deal with the rapid turnover of patients within that area and ensure it does not become too congested. However, your comment has been brought to the attention of the Director of Planning for future service developments.

Many thanks for taking the time to feedback your experience.