"Wait and Repeat... repeat and repeat again..."
About: Royal Berkshire Hospital Royal Berkshire Hospital Reading RG1 5AN
My daughter, 25, suffered a stroke on 27/3 and was treated at Charing Cross (brilliant care!) and is now staying with me in Reading to recuperate. She got a sudden headache and nausea yesterday; I rang Charing Cross and they asked me get her to hospital immediately by ambulance. I rang 999. A Paramedic arrived within 15mins and checked her vitals...but the ambulance came nearly 1hr after my call: disgusting. This for a patient who is considered to be high risk - she could have been having a bleed in the brain or even another clot... The paramedic was just as incensed as I was and requested that I complain. Apparently, such are the effects of cuts that they don't have enough ambulances....In the ambulance they checked her vitals. When we arrived at A&E they didn't have a bed; the ambulance crew located one and cleaned it and for my daughter - why? Wouldn't it be better for them to be collecting patients and for nurses/auxillaries to be doing this...?? Then began the wait....followed by the hand over to a nurse who took her vitals....then this nurse handed over to another nurse...more waiting.... then this second nurse took her vitals, some blood and inserted a catheter and promised to speak to a doctor. Each time a new professional made contact with us, we were asked the same questions. More waiting...I chased for a doctor to see my daughter who was a high risk patient and was told they would be with us shortly. More waiting... then a cubicle was found...and we waited some more. At the cubicle she was hooked up to a monitor and her vitals taken again..no doctor had seen her yet, nearly 3hrs after I had made the 999 call. Finally a doctor came over and asked the same questions again, so for possibly the 5th time we were reiterating the same information! Why didn't they simply confirm the information they had..!! Didn't anyone write anything down? I had even given the paramedic my daughter's discharge notes which are very detailed. Everyone had seen these but we were still asked. This was tedious and unnecessary. However, the doctor was efficient, ordered a CT scan which was carried out within 15mins and the results too were obtained quickly, which the RBH team discussed with those at Charing Cross: thankfully there was no bleed or clot. I accept that my daughter did not have any overt signs of a stroke but she was still a high risk patient - 25yr olds do not usually get strokes - and for her to have to wait nearly 3hrs to see a doctor is appalling. I could have driven her to Charing Cross in this time. What the RBH has to improve includes: number of available ambulances; method of prioritising; amount of repetition of the same information and long waiting times for high risk patients. I pray my daughter doesn't have to attend the RBH again.