"A&E admission of elderly father"

About: Princess Royal University Hospital (Orpington)

My 83 year old father was admitted with a very high temperature, breathing difficulties and exhaustiion. The paramedics suspected a urinary infection and were clearly concerned at his poor state of health while being transported to the PRU. On arrival, there were no wheelchairs to be found so we had to support him to the consultation room where he was left in a corridor shaking uncontrollably due to his very high temperature. Following the initial consultation, we were left to wait in A&E for almost 3 hours before seeing a doctor. During this time, my father became increasingly distressed and uncomfortable. There were other patients also clearly in need of urgent care but there appeared to be no sense of urgency or prioritisation. The triage nursing staff seemed pretty oblivious to all that was going on around them. I tried several times to accelerate the process by tackling various triage nurses and was asked to try to locate the head nurse who was seemingly to be found on the other side of the hospital. Not wanting to leave my father in my pursuit of said nurse and without the benefit of a wheelchair to take him with me, we continued to wait. We were finally seen at 6pm at which time I had to leave to visit my mother in neighbouring Green Parks. After two hours, I called the hospital to check on my father and after 30 minutes got through only to be told that he had been referred to the General Medical Team and that there was no further information. On pressing for further info, I was finally put through to the doctor who was able to give me some firm answers. All in all, the whole experience has been very frustrating and shameful.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Princess Royal University Hospital

We are very sorry to hear about the problems you and your father experienced in our Emergency Department. Please contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) so that we can discuss your concerns. You can either email them on kch-tr.PALSkent@nhs.net or phone 01689 863 252.

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