"Experience in A and E"

About: The Queen Elizabeth Hospital (King's Lynn)

This is not a criticism. We offer these comments in the hope they may be of value. We greatly appreciate all the help we have received from the NHS. My husband is diabetic with long standing peripheral nerve damage and circulation problems. He developed 2 blisters on his left foot last week and was promptly attended to by our GP with a appointment made for the diabetic foot clinic on the Friday. We attended this appointment and were told that if the foot showed any changes over the weekend to report to A and E. On Saturday the foot was redder and more swollen so we went to A and E at about 9 am. The Receptionist queried why we were there, we explained and then the triage nurse was quite brusque with me when I tried to point out that my husband has had previous problems which resulted in osteomyelitis in the toe. We are very alert to the dangers of infection in the diabetic foot. The third person we saw was much more understanding and said they were hoping to get a doctor to see the wounds while we were in A and E. However, after a wait we were informed that my husband was to be transferred to MAU. We were then on a conveyor belt of checks, interviews, meals. When I asked if my husband was being admitted, no-one knew, it depended on the Consultant's decision. At 7 pm I asked again and was told that the Consultant was on the ward and would see us when they could. Staff were so busy, in a bay of 6 beds there were 3 gentlemen suffering from dementia. At approximately 9 pm we were seen by the Consultant, who said we could go home. We eventually left the building at approx 10 pm after waiting for discharge note. We had been in the hospital for about 13 hours. It seemed to us that a Minor Injuries Unit would have perhaps been more appropriate for the treatment of the problem. Thank you very much for all your help.

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Response from The Queen Elizabeth Hospital

Thank you very much for taking the time to post such a detailed comment. I am sorry that you and your husband experienced such a protracted process and this is obviously a lesson for us and your GP to ensure such situations are dealt with in a more joined up way in the future. I apologise that at some points through the system you were not always spoken to with empathy and compassion and I will ensure that this is followed up within the departments concerned. I will share your posting with both the Emergency Department and MAU but it would be helpful if you could kindly email me your GP’s name so that we can discuss with the Practice about how to deal with such situations over the weekend in the future. I am sorry that this was an exhausting day for you both and I hope that your husband’s foot is now showing some signs of improvement. Claire Roberts Associate Director of Patient Experience Tel: 01553 613459 or email: claire.roberts@qehkl.nhs.uk

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