"My frail mother's wait at A&E"

About: Tameside General Hospital / Accident and emergency Tameside General Hospital / Older people's healthcare

(as a relative),

On Tuesday 26th May 2009, my mother was taken to Tameside General Hospital in an ambulance in a very distressed condition, continually vomiting and feeling very frail and uncomfortable. We were put into a very busy Accident & Emergency where there was a 3/4 hour waiting time.

For an old lady who was feeling very ill and vomiting in front of complete strangers, which included young children, who I am sure the last thing they want to see is an old lady being sick and also to be placed in front of people who were much worse for drink and the continuous vile language throughout the night, it was so degrading for her. It felt very intimidating as there were groups of youths in the doorway swearing and smoking, most of them were not stood there for medical attention.

The security office which is just across the road from the entrance to the Accident & Emergency must have been able to see the number of youths around the doorway, did not seem to care about the situation in and around the waiting room.

Surely, there could be a quieter area, where people who are very ill could be placed while waiting for medical attention.

This is not a complaint against any of the staff who are carrying out their duties under very difficult circumstances and conditions.

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Response from Philip Dylak, Director of Nursing, Tameside Hospital Foundation Trust

Thank you very much for raising these comments. I am so sorry that events were distressing for your mother. In spite of her experiences, I hope she is feeling much improved now. I will ensure that the Trust's Security Manager is made aware of the situation which you witnessed, so that appropriate action can be taken in future. Thank you for acknowledging the good work of the A&E staff. They do indeed work very hard under difficult conditions, and we are very proud of the consistently high standards they achieve. I will ensure these staff are made aware of your comments.

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