"Shocking wait times and organisation at A&E"

About: Royal Bolton Hospital

Please let me say first and foremost all of the staff are extremely helpful a. However what is going on at A&E? Wait times over 3 hours just to be seen, little organisation and structure meaning patients fall our over queue jumping. No prioritisation of patients apart from you're seriously ill of then there's the rest of you. Drunken yobs getting prioritisation over seriously ill people. People who are clearly not an accident or an emergency being treated rather than being told to go to their Drs. Only one Dr on duty which meant that before things were signed off we had to wait a long time, again tying up a much needed nurse. X-ray department has no structure for allocating people in order. No comfort messaging for patients to let them know how long they will be waiting or what position they are in the queue. The amount of time that the staff were stopped from treating people because people wanted to know when they would be seen would have saved hours on the day. What are the point of the receptionist too? Why don't you empower them to be able to give out information? Better still why don't you publish information about patients in a live environment so they can see for their selves and don't bother the staff. It took over 5 hours for a very elderly lady to be seen to and sent on her way after a very nasty fall whilst two drunken thugs who had been fighting between them got sorted pretty much straight away. I understand how they can be short staffed however just keep throwing staff at it is not the sole answer they need to get better organised.

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Response from Royal Bolton Hospital

Thank you for your comments in relation to your observations concerning the A&E department. We are really pleased that you find the staff helpful but wanted to respond to some of your observations. Similar to other A&E departments, all patients who arrive in the department go through a prioritisation process which is designed to identify those who have urgent and emergency needs. These are then dealt with in priority order which may appear to other people waiting that someone has jumped the queue. We can assure you that the information given to the staff allows them to prioritise and also stream patients into different areas which are supervised by different teams of staff. There is no time in the 24 hour period when we only have one doctor in the department, although we do only have one doctor present in our primary care stream, which supplies the needs for people with minor illness. We have an electronic information display which explains the processes within the department. We appreciate that waiting times are important but unfortunately priorities can be constantly changing. I am unable to substantiate the waiting time of the lady you describe, but we constantly monitor our waiting times and we are proud to be among the top performers in England for out A&E access target, which means that we over 95% of our patients are discharged or transferred within 4 hours. However, A&E sees variations in attendance some days and this can have an effect on the waiting times. We are constantly striving to improve the patient experience in the A&E department and examining our processes to see how we can improve them. We are currently working on some projects to improve information and patient flow and will take into account some of the points you raise to assist in our planning.

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