"Poor A&E Service"

About: Leighton Hospital

In April 2014, my aged mother was taken to Leighton Hospital’s A&E department. After a few preliminary checks she was wheeled into the A&E treatment area and assigned to a treatment room, where she received a few cursory checks. Almost one hour later, nobody had come to see my mother, so I asked the sister about the plan for my mother’s care. I was told she’d be examined by a doctor and she was next on the list to be examined. An hour later, nobody had come to check on my mother to see how she was feeling or to ask if she needed anything, so I asked for another update. I was told exactly the same thing I’d been told one hour earlier. At this point I commented to staff about the length of time my mother had been left without treatment. About 15 minutes later, a doctor did come to see my mother. While I was away from my mother for a period, she’d called out to nurses to assist her in going to the toilet, but it had taken several calls before anybody came to help her. What was disturbing is that the A&E was not very busy and there was a generally relaxed atmosphere in the treatment area and staff were joking with each other. The department was not under stress from large patient numbers or urgent medical conditions and, under these circumstances, my opinion is that two hours is an excessive amount of time for anybody to be in A&E without receiving treatment. Also, other patients' families made similar comments about the service. I also found the doctors to be arrogant and dismissive. However, the treatment my mother received in the A&E department was in complete contrast to the excellent follow-up treatment she received on a ward. An official complaint I made was, in my opinion, treated lightly, and follow-up comments and questions I asked were completely ignored.

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Responses

Response from Leighton Hospital

I am extremely sorry your experience within the department was not satisfactory . The nursing team are aware that effective communication and care helps to relieve the anxieties of patients and their families and it would appear this did not happen on this occasion and I sincerely apologise. I would be very grateful if I could discuss this incident further with you to understand how we can improve experiences in the future from your perspective. If you would like to do this, please would you contact the customer care team on 01270 278098 who will be happy to arrange for me to either talk with you or meet you, depending on your preference. Sue Talbot-Crosby, Matron, Emergency Department

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