"I broke my wrist on holiday"

About: Northern General Hospital / Accident and emergency

(as the patient),

I had a fall at the end of my holiday in Grange-over-Sands on the morning of 4th July. My daughter was fetching a friend but because I was going home that morning I decided it was best to get back to the Northern General Hospital in Sheffield rather then go to Kendal, the nearest hospital. I travelled back in my daughter’s car with an ice pack on my left wrist which was obviously broken. We arrived in accident and emergency mid afternoon and my friend who is a retired nurse stayed with me. We hadn’t eaten since breakfast at the hotel and the only food available was chocolate and crisps, cold drinks and the usual hot drinks in plastic cups. No one told us how long we were likely to be waiting and the department was hot and airless. It must have been almost four hours before I was seen and no one offered pain relief of any sort. The staff were calling out names and just stood at their door and spoke the name of the next patient in a normal voice. I am nor hard of hearing but had to concentrate really hard to hear because of the level of conversation noise in the room.

Eventually I was seen by a very nice nurse who assessed and then sent me for an x-ray. I must emphasise that every one of the staff I saw were very efficient, kind and understanding. My wrist was manipulated into place and I was eventually given the option, at 9pm, of coming home and returning the next morning at 7am as I needed an operation or staying overnight. As I am a widow and live alone I opted to stay and eventually was given a sandwich and a drink at around 10pm. My friend got a taxi home but I was worried about her as she is 86. My operation was at 3.45pm the next day. I was treated very well by all the staff who could not have been kinder but I was not happy to be on a mixed ward and having to use a toilet which was unisex.

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