"A&E, don't go there!!"

About: Southmead Hospital

It the would appear that A&E department is one constant assessment leaving the patients sat there wondering if they are going to be seen at all. The receptionist puts into the computer what is wrong with you and from this the triage nurse decide's your importance. If you are lucky you will eventually be seen but in our case we did not, 5 people were seen before us who had arrived after us. If you are lucky you then go into minor injuries who assess you again, send you to sit outside and wait for another age. There were so many people of varying levels of assessment. I gave up after over an hour waiting having not been seen by anyone with my son who did not have a serious issue but one that needed dressing and possibly antibiotics. Luckily I am a retired staff nurse so I had the option to leave but it has cost me for buying dressings in the chemist and if I need to get him to the doctors tomorrow if it has not improved as I will not have a car then. Even with my 28 years nursing experience I still need to have a doctor's assessment sometimes. I had asked the triage nurse for some dry dressings but she refused. If we are going to have a situation of needing to sort our own problems then the dressings and medications we feel we need should be cheaper, £4 for 2 dressings and mag/sulph paste is not cheap and I will still have further costs. Free at point of care - Not, you need to be seen 1st.

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Response from Southmead Hospital

Dear Ms Symmonds, Thank you for your comments, we are sorry to hear that your experience at the Emergency Department was not positive. In order to assess the severity of illness and to stream the patients into the most appropriate place and clinician to manage their care, we do operate a triage system. As with other Emergency Departments, we do experience high levels of demand on occasions and the triage system enables the nursing and medical teams to be used to best effect to reduce waiting times. We also work actively with our community partners, including GPs, walk in centres, community pharmacies and 111 to assist patients in accessing the most appropriate place for their care to be managed quickly and safely. If you would like your concern to be investigated in more detail, please contact the Advice and Complaints team on 0117 3233710 or you can email them at Complaints@nbt.nhs.uk

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