"As a NHS nurse I am all too familiar of the..."

About: Queen Elizabeth Hospital (Gateshead)

As a NHS nurse I am all too familiar of the pressures on services and also how often the public do not seek support by the correct service for which the A&E department all too often have to manage. However, my recent experience both frustrated me as a mammy to an unwell 16 month old, and infuriated me in the experience of systems and protocols gone mad resulting in the unnecessary duplication of multi-department involvement. Following a period of being unwell I was unable to lower my little girls temp (40oC) therefore saught support from 111 (outside of GP hours), who passed my contact details to the out of hours GP team. After sharing my concerns with the GAT DOC I was asked to attend the old walk in clinic to allow further assessment. The Dr suggested admission to ward 20 would be appropriate as Serena remained Pyrexiel and tachycardic. However protocol required admission via A&E. The Gat Dr spoke to the on-call peads SHO who agreed to see Seeena in pard's A&E for further assessment and observations. So off to A&E Serena and I go, only to spend a further 45 minutes waiting to be seen by triage prior to going to the paeds A&E dept. The nursing and Dr team were fabulous however in the current press reports of the NHS I found myself flabbergasted at the waste of resources! In attempt to get medical assistance by the most appropriate team rather than heading straight to A&E I phoned 111. This lead to being assessed by 4 people prior to getting where we needed to b! I found myself thinking I could have saved 4 hours of wasted time by just going straight to A&E. The process did make sense, in that I received a gradual response in relation to the known evidence however I believe the issue was having to wait for triage despite having just been assessed by a competent person. Shouldn't a handover between clinicians be sufficient? In a sense, the Gat Dr did the triage. Being sat in A&E with an unwell child unecessarily echoed to me how as a service, the person is often lost amongst uncollaborative protocols, systems and departments. For me as a RMHN and a mammy this is just not acceptable!

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Queen Elizabeth Hospital

Hello, we're sorry to hear that you've had such a frustrating experience at the QE, and from reading your story we can see why. Although this is the current protocol at the moment, when we move into our new Emergency Care Centre which will be opening in the next few months, we hope to eliminate a lot of this repetition that patients and carers currently face within the system. The building has been designed specifically for and to facilitate getting people to the right clinician first time, and people self presenting at A&E/walk in centre (which will be together in the same facility) will see far less staff and be able to be admitted to the short stay units (both adults and paediatrics) in the same building, where the clinicians will come to you. So hopefully our new way of working will eliminate lots of this.

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