"Experience at A&E at Torbay Hospital with an elderly relative"
About: Torbay Hospital / Accident and emergency Torbay Hospital Accident and emergency Torquay TQ2 7AA
Posted by concerned grandaughter 2014 (as ),
In mid-May at approximately 8pm I took my 86 year old grandmother to the A&E department of Torbay Hospital, at the request of her GP, to see the on call medical team following a fall and experiencing confusion and feeling unwell.
We handed over the information given to us by her GP and were told to wait. After an hour I asked the receptionist if she could give any indication of how long we were likely to wait as the waiting room was very full. I was told the majority of patients were waiting for Minor Injuries Unit, not the medical team.
That Minor Injuries wait was 4 hours but she could not give me an indication of how long my grandmother would have to wait and actually used the phrase "how long is a piece of string". I work as a manager in a patient focused environment for the NHS and would be very unhappy if any of my staff used such unhelpful language.
After waiting a further 30-45 minutes (it was by now approx 9:45pm and my grandmother was falling asleep on the chair) I decided to go around reception to the Nurses/Doctors station.
I asked if they could give me any indication of time and was told that there were 6 people in front of my grandmother. I explained that at 86 years old, she could not wait in a plastic chair for much longer, especially as she was here partly due to confusion and was finding the whole experience very upsetting. I asked if there was somewhere she could lie down to wait.
At first the 2 staff talking to me said there was nothing they could do and I became quite upset. At this point a lady (in non-uniform and unfortunately I did not get her name) came up to me and said she understood what I was asking and that she would find a bed for my grandmother to use until the Medical On Call Dr could see her.
This was such a relief and I am eternally grateful to this lady for taking the time to go out of her way to find my grandmother a bed. I believe it made all the difference to my grandmother, and also to me. I was able to see her into a bed with a nurse taking care of her knowing she was being looked after.