"Visit to A&E"

About: Colchester General Hospital

I had to accompany a friend to the walk-in part of A&E one Saturday night just over a week ago. It was busy and there was a lot of people (not unexpected). Our personal A&E encounter once through triage was excellent. However whilst we were in the waiting area a young woman looking ill (grey, shaking) came in with an older woman who was looking after her. The reception staff provided the ladies with a vomit bowl. The young woman starting retching and vomiting and this continued over a period of time. The young woman had to lie down on the padded bench in the waiting room while she waited. The young woman’s continued clearly audible vomiting was brought to the attention of the receptionists who shrugged and said ‘we know’. I do not know the circumstances of this young woman’s case and what emergencies were being dealt with behind the scenes but it did surprise me that this lady, once she starting vomiting and continued vomiting, was not taken through to somewhere where she could vomit in private, in comfort and safety. I understand from those who work in A&E that people are not normally left vomiting in the walk-in waiting room area. I hope that this was an exception in exceptional circumstances.

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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. Can I double-check - when you say "walk in part" you don't the "walk in centre" in Turner Road do you? (We don't run that you see.) 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 05/02/2015 17:46:59”, please? Many thanks Paul Searle, Head of Communications Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust info@colchesterhospital.nhs.uk

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