"A and E resus"

About: Worcestershire Royal Hospital

Admitted after a fall at home around 11p on a bank holiday Monday evening. I was shunted from triage to Resus after one nurse noticed I was vomiting and still attached to a spinal board. Once in Resus only the presence of my youngest son prevented me from choking on my own vomit, as the staff were too busy giggling and shrieking with laughter at some joke of their own to be bothered to assist. This was quite inappropriate as not only was I very distressed and hurt, but also in the bed opposite me I saw (when I was permitted to sit up) there was a person on life support with a very distressed family at his/her side (no, the curtains were not closed for dignity and respect). I was told I had to have a ct scan and waited for a long time as the operator had to be called in; suddenly my trolley was shoved out into the corridor and my son, running to catch up, asked what was happening. I told him I had no idea as no-one had spoken to me, at which the porter told me I was going to have the awaited scan. Within the scan room only one of the nurses addressed me directly, and no-one explained what was to happen, though, as I was still vomiting and strapped down, I felt very insecure and vulnerable. Back in Resus, no-one checked to see if I was ok and I thank god my son was still there with his partner to offer some comfort and reassurance. Shortly after the scan someone arrived and said I could sit up and then go home if I wasn't dizzy. It's very hard to identify people when you're strapped down and they are somewhere by your feet. My son asked for some aftercare leaflets which he was given; I was told not to take any Morphine (prescribed for another health issue) until the headache had gone completely, and discharged. A week later, suffering from continued headache, nausea and diarrhoea, I went to out of hours clinic where I was told I had withdrawal symptoms from not taking morphine; I still had a raging headache so had tried to manage without that particular pain relief, as instructed by the doctor in Resus; the out of hours doctor was very helpful and assisted me in safely returning to my previous dose of morphine. Once I had done this, the symptoms I was experiencing gradually settled down. Whilst I appreciate that working in Resus must be exhausting, demanding and stressful, I feel sure that there are better places for high spirits than in front of seriously ill, possibly dying patients and their relatives. As for dignity and reassurance -well, don't expect that from some of the staff in A and E. Was it just because they were so busy they didn't have time to be nice, comforting, thoughtful or kind? Or was it, and this is how it seemed to me from my spinal board - more a case of having a relative close by so he was in control of my care, when in fact he was really worried and distressed himself. I feel sure the staff can do better, and wonder why, on this occasion at least, they didn't.

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Response from Worcestershire Royal Hospital

Thank you for your comments. I am very sorry to read of the experience you had when you came to Worcester Royal. I will share this with the management team for the department and would like to investigate your concerns further. Please contact us direct on 0300 123 1732 or email patientservices.dept@worcsacute.nhs.uk Regards

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