"medical care was good but experience could be improved"

About: Northwick Park Hospital / Accident and emergency Northwick Park Hospital Urgent Care Centre

(as the patient),

Having become dizzy and collapsed at home in the night, I phoned NHS 111 who advised me to visit the Urgent Care Centre. At the reception (which was in the A&E) I had to stand in a queue waiting for half an hour to be triaged because there was no nurse at reception. Eventually I was told that I would be seen by A&E instead. I don't know how long the wait would have been, because I then started to feel dizzy and nearly collapsed again, so they took me through to a nurse to be assessed (I guess that's one way to bypass the queue! ). I was then asked to sit in a waiting area, however as I was then starting to feel dizzy just by sitting up, I was put in a cubicle.

I was then waiting in a cubicle for over 4 hours, still having not seen a doctor yet. Eventually, in the morning, I was assessed by a doctor, whom I felt was very professional and thorough in the tests he carried out on me. I was told all my tests were normal, and eventually I started feeling better, and therefore could be discharged, although I did not receive a diagnosis. Unfortunately one of the tests caused me to vomit in the cubicle, and in the approx 3-4 hours between this and my discharge, nobody was available to clean it up. I hope they cleaned it before the next patient came in!

I was in A&E for about 8 hours in total, which is double the four hour target for A&E. I would be less concerned about this if I had had a complex serious illness which took more than four hours to diagnose or if I was under observation, but as over half my visit to A&E was spent waiting in A&E without having seen a doctor yet, I feel that had I been assessed sooner, I could have been discharged sooner.

A few weeks following my visit to A&E, I received a call from my GP, because one of the tests done at Northwick Park was not normal. I was quite surprised by this, as the staff at Northwick Park had told me all the results were normal. In addition, I later found out that the results of one of the tests had never reached my GP surgery, therefore it was necessary to repeat the test.

Overall, whilst the medical care I eventually received from the doctors and nurses was good, I feel that my experience could have been improved by the hospital:

1. Having a nurse at reception to do an immediate triage, rather than have sick people stand in a queue for half an hour

2. Ensuring that patients are seen by a doctor within 4 hours

3. Ensuring patients are discharged/ admitted within 4 hours

4. Cleaning up vomit immediately

5. Ensuring that all medical test results were passed on to my GP surgery

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