"Awful visit to A&E"

About: The Royal Victoria Infirmary

I'm afraid that my experience in A&E was utter horrific. I'm not normally one to slate the NHS, working within it myself, but on this occasion I feel there are some very serious problems with the A&E department at the RVI. I would also like to point out that looking down the reviews, these are problems that appear to be coming up time and time again without being solved. On arrival I was triaged and asked to wait in the waiting area, despite vomiting continually and choking on my own saliva thanks to what turned out to be very swollen tonsils. Despite clearly not being able to sit up without feeling extremely dizzy, it required a friend to alert the staff who eventually put me on a trolley in a corridor. The initial set of obs I was given was done quickly, however I was told they would give me anti-sickness medication which did not happen. When my friend asked where the medicine was around 15 minutes later, we were told they were going to see whether I continued vomiting before giving it despite clearly vomiting profusely and painfully. I was eventually moved to a room in majors but it was still a long wait for a doctor to see me; with no blankets apparently available (so we were told) or pillows for my myself or my friend given it was 2am. The consultant was excellent, but sorely let down by the team. My friend had to chase the drip ordered by the consultant (and finally anti-sickness meds) around 15 minutes after they were ordered. Every attempt to engage with staff was met with a rude brush off while they on several occasions appeared to continue with their conversation about current TV rather than actually act on concerns. Given I was in a room where they were unable to see me and was left unchecked by anything more than a glance for around 5 hours this is really rather unacceptable. It was very much left to my friend to inform them that I was feeling more unwell, and on no occasion did a member of staff come to quickly have a chat with me themselves. When I continued throwing up despite being given the anti-sickness drug, I asked on repeated occasions to several staff if I could have more or whether they was anything they could do. Additionally, I had accompanying abdominal pain which was repeatedly ignored by staff in terms of pain relief. At no point was I asked how I was feeling or shown any kind of care from staff. I do appreciate that it was a busy evening but equally when the consultant hasn't had a break in 8 hours (as I was informed by staff) clearly there is a problem somewhere. Additionally, a complete lack of care made what was already a very scary experience far more unpleasant than it had to be. I'm sorry to say that having spoken to several friends my experience was not uncommon. Patients are made to feel like a nuisance for being in A&E for perfectly good reasons with a complete lack of any of the care that the NHS so prides itself on.

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Response from The Royal Victoria Infirmary

Many thanks for taking the time to leave your feedback. We appreciate all feedback, both positive and negative, to enable us to have a true and full picture of patient perception of our services and to help us to continually improve our services. We are very sorry to learn of your poor experience when attending the Emergency Department as this is not the standard of care we aim to deliver to our patients. Unfortunately due to the anonymity of this message we are unable to comment specifically on your experiences, however if you would like to contact our Patient Relations Department on 0191 2231382 and provide some further details we will be able to investigate your concerns further. Once again we would like to apologise for your poor experience and thank you for your time taken to highlight these issues. Your comments have been fed back to staff in the department.

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