"appalling life threatening mistakes"

About: Colchester General Hospital

Following being taken to a & e by ambulance for extreme pain in left arm, i was put to "minor" without being assessed. I had to wait to be seen and ended up in pain on the floor. The doctor called me through and diagnosed trapped nerve in left arm and gave me Diazipam and sent me home. Four days later I was sent to A & E by GP as I had issues on ECT along with severe left arm pain. waited 5 hours in corridor along with up to 8 ambulance crews and patients. Finally got to be seen. diagnosed heart attack (almost certainly occurred 4 days previously on 1st visit to A & E) admitted to emergency assessment unit, where i stayed until discharge. up to 20 cardiac patients on this ward at any time waiting to be transferred to Cardio Ward (many with acute, severe heart attacks. Disgusted!! it transpires that I had a heart attack 3 years ago which was also missed by Colchester A & E. Again then i was given Diazipam and told to go home and have a hot bath. The doctors then were more interested in swapping sunglasses. How can i recommend a hospital with attending A & E doctors that cannot diagnose a heart attack. i also recommend that people make the extra journey to Ipswich or Chelmsford. PS the nursing staff were excellent in spite of obvious horrendous workload and lack of equipment and ward space.

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Response from Colchester General Hospital

I apologise you’ve not had a good patient experience. We try really hard to improve our services based on the comments we receive from our patients, their relatives or carers. We would like the opportunity to discuss your experiences more fully and to apologise in person. If you are willing I would appreciate it if I could ask the matron to contact you. Could you email me, using the reference “Comment on Accident and emergency services at RDEE4-Colchester General Hospital at 22/10/2014 15:03:16”, please? Many thanks Paul Searle, Head of Communications Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust info@colchesterhospital.nhs.uk

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