"Dreadful A&E experience"
About: The Royal Victoria Infirmary The Royal Victoria Infirmary Newcastle Upon Tyne NE1 4LP
One lunchtime I found my 94 year old mother-in-aw lying naked and bleeding on the floor of her bedroom in Jesmond where she had been lying all night. It took nearly 2 hours to get her to the RVI hospital in an ambulance and 4 hours waiting to be seen in A&E. At no time did any staff member ask if she needed anything and it was only after I requested a blanket for her that eventually one was provided until then she was sitting on a hard chair with nothing but a thin dressing gown and slippers. 2 hours later I was realy worried that she had not had anything to eat or drink for so long so I asked if she could have a drink - the answer was yes - the drinks machine took my money but only offered half a cup of cold black liquid instead of tea so I returned to the desk to ask for something for her to eat and drink half an hour later I had to go back again as nothing had been brought - we had been 'forgotten' a dry cheese sandwich and a luke warm cup of tea eventually arrived by which time she was hallucinating and seeing teddybears and flowers everywhere. When I told the desk that she was hallucinating I was told it was to be expected if she had been on the floor for so long as she probably had a kidney infection…I found her at lunchtime and it was after 9pm that she was seen by a doctor. I had to leave her wrapped in the blanket at 10pm when a bed had still not been found for her. The staff at the RVI A&E are overwhelmed - they do not have time to be kind or thoughtful - what a dreadful thing for them as well as their patients. Surely there is an urgent need for more A&E services in Newcastle if the staff are so overworked in the middle of the afternoon on a Tuesday - what must it be like at weekends or late at night? It is frightening and I am so grateful that I live near to Hexham where the A&E service is excellent and patients are treated with great kindness, care and respect.