"The doctor we finally saw was ..."

About: Hillingdon Hospital

(as a relative),

What I liked

The doctor we finally saw was very nice.

What could be improved

Where to start?

Cleanliness was probably my first concern. There was some sort of medical item on the floor of the cubicle which I stepped on. The toilets at A&E (one single one for all the females waiting) was covered in toilet paper and constantly busy so I went down to the one on the lower ground floor. The cleaning register hadn't been signed since Friday (it was now midday Sunday) and there was what appeared to be faeces on the toilet seat, no toilet paper and the sanitary bin was full to over flowing.

The whole place looked grubby, and during the whole four hours in the waiting room I didn't see a cleaner.


My partner was referred straight to A&E by an out of hours GP, with concerns over what could have been a very serious condition, it was made clear to me (although I hadn't asked for any sort of special treatment and had queued patiently) that this wouldn't make any difference to our waiting time. Questions were barked at me across the counter.

It took an hour for my partner to even be assessed. He was not offered any painkillers. The nurse went flying off to the treatment area leaving me and my limping partner to guess where she had gone.

Another hour later I returned to the desk to ask a nurse when we would be seen as my partner was crying with pain and this was very unusual. She said there was one other person in front of him, so I asked if he could have some pain killers and was told someone would be out soon.

Two hours later I returned to ask what was going on. The nurse was unsympathetic and argumentative (he was next AFTER one other person and they were very busy I was told - two hours to treat one other person seems a long time!) Remarkably they were then able to see my partner straight away.

Not that the doctor had any idea why we were there or that a blood test had been completed until we told him. However, he was very nice and thorough and I was grateful for his treatment of my partner.

Anything else?

The overall impression of this place was that pretty much nobody could have cared less. From the maintenance to the care, this hospital left a great deal to be desired.

When people were called out of the waiting room it was with great impatience and yet little assertiveness so at least one elderly, patient was left to rely on some one else to keep an eye out for him.

Another elderly couple who had been assessed at the same time as us were still sitting there after four hours at which point a nurse noticed them and exclaimed with surprise at them still being there.

I think what summed it up was when I went back and heard a nurse ask the doctor when he had discharged Mr X, to which the doctor replied that it had been hours ago.

I am a great supporter of the NHS in general, I spent some years living in a second world country and am very aware of how it is for people who have no access to health care. However, I do believe that basic hygiene and a good standard of patient care is the least we can expect. I don't believe that either of these things were addressed in general at Hillingdon Hospital A&E. I would worry about patients who do not have someone such as myself to insist on basic care, to ask questions and generally make sure they are remembered.

I had cause to go to A&E at Northwick Park last year and the difference was noticable. The waiting time was the same but the patient care, cleanliness and comfort (the waiting room there didn't appear to be designed for maximum discomfort!) were far superior. I was also assessed within fifteen minutes, even though my injury was far from life threatening, unlike the suspected illness my partner was referred for by a doctor.

Story from NHS Choices

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