"6 hours of waiting for nothing"

About: King George Hospital / Accident and emergency

(as the patient),

I was told to go to A&E after phoning NHS 111 and explaining symptoms of persistent chest and throat pain. After finally seeing a doctor I was transferred to Majors department for further tests. Once there I was made to wait for 3 hours, being told by staff several times that I was next to be seen only to watch several other patients who had arrived after me be called in before me, which contradicted what I was told and made me feel neglected and ignored. The staff appeared overworked, and only 2 doctors were available. When I finally got to see a doctor she was rushing and seemed very forgetful and dismissive, even suggesting that my pain was being caused by anxiety! She also had to be reminded several times to examine me properly, as her main priority appeared to be to get rid of me as fast as possible. I had to insist on the tests to find the cause of my pain and throat inflammation, which she admitted she had no idea of the cause. After blood tests and an X-ray I was told that everything looked normal. When I asked what could be causing my pain, the doctor became annoyed and told me she didn't know, and told me to just go home and keep taking painkillers! (despite having already taken them for weeks). She also said I had been "over investigated" and made me feel like I had wasted her time, despite my pain being bad enough to bring me to tears. The doctor then abruptly left without asking if I was satisfied with my care or explaining anything else. She showed a total lack of patience and compassion and was extremely rude. In the end I was sent away with nothing, no explanation and no treatment. Nothing. Overall, my experience was bad enough to make me never want to use this hospital again, nor would I recommend it to others.

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Responses

Response from King George Hospital

Thank you for your comment. As one of the largest A&Es in London, we aim to see our patients in order of clinical need, and while this appears to be the case when you visited, our staff should have communicated this better to you. We encourage patients to seek the right services for their condition, with A&E being for life-threatening emergencies. I am sorry you felt our staff were rude - this is unacceptable and we expect better. This matter will be discussed with them Yours sincerely Wendy Matthews Interim Chief Nurse

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Update posted by JaspersMum (the patient)

You have not addressed the fact that the doctor was rushing, forgetting things and being very dismissive of my symptoms. I had to remind her to check things that she said she would check but kept forgetting. She would not adequately explain anything to me to put my mind at ease and I felt that I was a medically neglected as a result of these issue, as well as the doctor's bad attitude. Please do not imply that I should not have been there, as I was instructed to go to A&E by NHS 111, and for all I knew my issues could have been life threatening. I was also made aware that the unit was understaffed and overworked, which is unacceptable. I stand by my original assessment of my experience and will not be returning to this hospital should I require treatment in the future.