"Disorganised and understaffed"

About: The Queen Elizabeth Hospital (King's Lynn)

Arrived on MAU via GP with suspected heart attack. Waited in a side room for a bed for an hour. Other patients in the waiting area, awaiting discharge said they waited 5 hours for a bed the night before. I started to get chest pain and called a student nurse over who then called a sister over. The sister did my BP and then disappeared. I then sat next to a bed for another hour. There was a blood stained piece of gauze on the floor and no water to drink. A very demented lady was wondering around harassing the other patients. No one came to see if I was ok. I decided to leave thinking a doctor must have looked at my notes by now and thought my condition was not serious. I was in tears as I did not feel well. I was chased down the corridor and persuaded to "give them another chance". I then had an ECG done but the nurse had to get assistance as he could not use the machine. Whilst having the ECG performed and my chest exposed the demented lady opened the curtains wide staring at me, this was also visiting time so lots of people around. I alerted the nurse and as he walked towards the lady she nearly fell holding the curtain open even wider. The nurse lunged forward to catch the lady before she fell backwards as she was very unsteady on her feet. When the nurse came back he said he would have to repeat the ECG because the last one was fuzzy and it must have been the fright!! I then sat and waited for the doctor who I could hardly hear because of all the noise. I then sat and waited another hour listening to the demented lady who shouted and wandered around nearly falling several times. I still had not been admit by a nurse. I had now been in MAU for four hours and not seen a senior doctor so decided to go home. I then had chest pain and was admitted again via A and E at 1am. I'm now awaiting an Echo and a 24 hr ECG as an out patient. The blood test taken at 2am was negative thank goodness. If it had been a heart attack I dread to think what the outcome could have been from this awful experience in MAU. I understand that they were busy and understaffed (I think my nurse was from an agency) but I did not feel safe and the whole experience was awful.

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Response from The Queen Elizabeth Hospital

I was extremely concerned to read of your experiences, please could you ring me as a matter of urgency so that we can discuss and action all the issues you have raised. Val Newton, Deputy Director of Nursing – 01553 613613 ext / bleep 3582

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