"Awful visit to A&E"

About: Queen's Hospital (Romford)

Recently, I attended A&E in Queens Hospital. I arrived about 3am on a Tuesday morning, so you would think it would not be too busy. How wrong I was. A family member and I walked in to something resembling a slum; the whole place was filthy, sick buckets had seemingly been used and simply left, there were spillages all over the floor and dozens of flies buzzing around the place. I walked over to the reception in order to check in. A sign said come to window three, which I did and there was a male and female member of staff just having a chat. He simply looked at me, almost appeared to be puzzled as to what I was doing and told me to go to window one and quickly pulled the blind down. I walked over to window one and there was no one there. After a couple of minutes, a lady appeared and asked what was wrong. I duly told her, however there was absolutely no privacy. The eight or more people who were merely feet away could quite clearly hear what I was telling her. It took one hour and fifty minutes to simply be triaged! Once I was called, the nurse picked up the blood pressure equipment off the floor and proceeded to take my blood pressure with it. After another hour sitting and waiting, with no communication from anyone what was going on, a relative of a patient went to the reception window and asked how much longer the wait would be. They were told the person who was next to be seen by a doctor had been waiting for just over seven hours. After hearing this news, I immediately walked round to the minors area and asked the nurse I had seen if my results could be sent to my G.P so I could pick up antibiotics from there, if needed. I was looked at as though I was absolutely absurd, although this would have saved my time, the hospitals time and all who were still waiting in the reception waiting area. After being told this would not be accepted and I would have to wait for over seven hours, I proceeded to drive to Harlow Hospital. Despite being an hour away, I was triaged within twenty minutes, kept informed the whole way through and after two hours, given a diagnosis and antibiotics, then drove the hour home. I was home by 9am but I would have still been waiting in Queens to just been seen by the doctor! I would report this to the Patient Advice and Liaison service but after using them before and NEVER hearing back from them, I thought I wouldn't waste anymore of my time and post directly on here. No wonder the CQC have put Queen's into Special Measures - I wouldn't wish it upon my worst enemy.

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Response from Queen's Hospital

Thank you for commenting on NHS Choices. I am very sorry to hear about your experience in our Emergency Department. I am also sorry to hear that when you contacted our PALS team regarding a previous matter, you did not receive a response. We would like to discuss both matters with you further and would urge you to contact the Head of Complaints and PALS to discuss this. She can be contacted on 01708 435 000 ext 3855. Yours sincerely Flo Panel-Coates Chief Nurse

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