"Abysmal and shocking care!"

About: The Royal Victoria Infirmary / Accident & emergency

(as the patient),

My recent A&E experience at RVI simply shocked me. After admitted myself for what I had initially thought was a bruised or cracked rib, I showed up on a Saturday morning, when it was very quiet in the main A&E waiting room. It took several minutes to get the admission nurse on reception's attention and when she did finally acknowledge me, she was very cold an unwelcoming, very annoying considering that people are at their most vulnerable time when admitting themselves to A&E! I was then directed to another receptionist, who told me to sit in the waiting area.

Whilst sitting in the waiting room, despite there being not another soul waiting, I waited several hours before being seen. There were several receptionists present, however I was sitting round the corner from them, so I suspected that they forgot I was there. They were chatting amongst themselves very loudly and didn't appear to be working at all. In fact at one point I heard them talking about dresses and one receptionist said "Go on, try it on! No one's here. " And they all agreed. Five minutes later, I saw briefly into one of the examination rooms when a nurse opened the door -- one of the receptionists was trying on a formal gown in an examination room! I was so shocked - of course, these girls should be able to have a chat and enjoy themselves on the job, but I felt that this was taking the cake in an A&E waitin room! They were constantly chatting loudly and at one point, when another patient came to the desk, I saw her take about two minutes to be even noticed by the main receptionist.

Eventually, I was called through by a doctor. He seemed okay in our initial talk, but the whole thing seemed a little rushed. He took routine blood tests and told me he'd get me some painkillers and that he was just popping to submit my blood samples. I waited alone in the examination room for 30 minutes for pain relief from a nurse. I waited another hour for the doctor to come back, a ridiculous wait considering he didn't tell me that I'd wait so long. He came back and told me that my blood clot results had come back elevated, which he thought was related to the pain. This was, of course, very shocking to me, but he offered little explanation. He then got up and walked out of the room, I didn't know whether or not I was supposed to follow him (suffice to say that he wasn't the warmest of characters! )

I then got a Chest X Ray, which was fine - the staff were cold, but quick and efficient and took a matter of minutes, rather than hours. I was given another examination room to wait in -- again, a wait of over an hour. My doctor never returned and I never saw him again. Instead, after a wait, a nurse I'd never met came in (who had a very patronizing manner) and talked me through the next steps. She told me she needed to give me a blood thinning injection, and that, as the following day was a Sunday and the clinic I needed to go to was closed, I'd have to learn to inject myself with, but not to worry, as she'd teach me all that. She left me and my partner and told us she'd "just go get the injections drawn up". Another 40 minute wait. I couldn't believe it. We looked to the nurses station after a while and she was just chatting with her colleagues about their social lives! I felt very neglected and was very angry. My partner eventually confronted her and asked if these injections were ever going to happen, she responded that it's just be a minute, in such a patronizing way!, despite the fact that she'd never informed us of how long we'd have to wait. She finally returned and gave me the injection. She taught me extremely unofficially and carelessly as far as I am concerned how to inject myself and gave me no instructions on storing the vaccine. She then discharged me, in what seemed like a rush, without giving me any pain relief to take home. Shocking.

One final point: in the final examination room, there were plastic medical wrappers lying on the floor and a USED gauze pad under the bed. Terrible hygiene conditions.

Overall, I would never return to the RVI, it was farcical, really!

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Response from The Royal Victoria Infirmary

Thank you for taking the time to leave your feedback, we are very sorry you had such a negative experience in the RVI and we will be looking into the elements that we can. We would also like to apologise for the delay in responding to your review - unfortunately due to technical issues we have only recently been alerted to your posting. If you would like to contact our Patient Relation department on 0191 2231382 or via email at patient.relations@nuth.nhs.uk with further information, we will be able to conduct an investigation into your experiences or alternatively proceed your concerns as a formal complaint. May we apologise again for your experience while attending our A&E department at the RVI, no patient should have such a negative experience within our services.

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