"I received treatment."

About: Alexandra Hospital

(as the patient),

What I liked

I received treatment.

What could be improved

My wife and I attended A&E at 5.45am after I'd had a rather frightening experience of being completely unable to breathe. A&E was completely empty when we arrived . We checked in at the desk and were asked to take a seat and wait for a nurse. The waiting area was littered with dirty cups, empty crisp packets etc etc. A TV was on but the picture was unwatchable. After a 15 min wait a nurse took my blood pressure, pulse and temp., a few notes and said a doctor would get to me. Approximately two hours later a doctor (who we'd just seen arriving) called me through to the treatment area. Inside there were several clinical staff a couple of domestics and two or three porters - most seemed relatively unoccupied. My wife and I walked past treatment bays where curtains had been left open and the few patients being treated had no privacy. One old lady had been left on a bed in a very undignified state of dress for all to see. The doctor asked me a few questions, said I needed a chest X-Ray and left. I was told we could wait in the bay. After three quarters of an hour I approached a nurse to ask what was going on. The nurse told me she'd been trying to page the X-Ray dept. We waited some more and was finally given a prescription by a nurse and told I could leave. I asked if there was anything to report from the X-Ray and on prompting was told no. I finally left around three and a quarter hours after admission and paid £3.50 for the privilege of parking.

Clearly no-one likes to have to wait. I appreciate that my condition didn't appear life-threatening however it was frustrating being completely ignored by staff, given absolutely no information about what was likely to happen, who would get back to me, or when. Frankly, I felt very much like I was in the way and that I deserved little if any respect (which was pretty much how the other patients appeared to be being treated).

This hospital needs to start treating patients like people, with dignity and respect

Anything else?

The place really could do with a decent housekeeping manager and all staff should be trained to see that cleanliness is not simply the responsibility of domestic staff. I watched two domestic staff for around an hour. One seemed to be doing most of what was being done (emptying a few bins) the other, for a fair amount of time, followed the first around and did nothing. I watched whilst two bins were pulled away from the wall, the sacks changed and the bins pushed back despite there being rubbish left on the floor behind. One porter to his credit saw some plastic which had been screwed up and thrown on the floor and he picked it up and put it in the bin - the other staff had walked past it for near enough an hour.

Story from NHS Choices

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