"Accident and Emergency"

About: Royal Bolton Hospital

I attended the A+E department in Bolton with chest pains and breathlessness. In which my friend gave my details to reception whilst I sat down getting my breath back. We were then told to sit in the triage area. After 15 minutes I was seen by the nurse and was hooked upto a heart monitor and blood pressure machine. The nurse then said I was amber priority, so my wait to see the doctor wouldn't be long. We then sat in the main waiting area hoping to be seen pretty soon. As I still didn't feel right. In which time we both saw various patients with none life threatening injuries. Such as broken ankles, other minor ailments. And even a man came into A+E because he couldn't get an appointment with his GP. And they were all seen before me! and were discharged within the hour. I clearly mustn't have been an emergency even though I was amber priority. I waited 1 and a half hours in which time the pain in my chest was subsiding and my breathing returned to normal. I was then called and seen by the doctor who looked a little confused as I seemed fine to them but an 1 and a half earlier I clearly wasn't and didn't seem an emergency. This is clearly what the department advertises in the waiting room 'emergencies' only other minor ailments or injuries you will be redirected to an appropriate care setting . I'm disappointed that I waited the length of time I did when I presented with serious symptoms. As this could have been life threatening. Those other patients who attended A+E would have have benefited from using Leigh NHS walk in centre as that hospital is built to suit their needs e.g. broken ankle, minor ailments not A+E! I'm a student Nurse myself and know what appropriate care individuals need. And what each NHS service is appropriate for those individuals. E.g GP, NHS walk in centre.

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Response from Royal Bolton Hospital

Patients are seen in order of their clinical priority according to their initial assessment. We have two streams of patients following assessment – those who have minor injuries, and those whose injuries or condition is more serious. Over 50% of our patients are seen within the hour of their arrival. This is why you will have seen simpler, less serious conditions being seen more quickly than you were.

We aim to see patients who are rated “amber” within 20 minutes according to their clinical priority. However this can sometimes be difficult to achieve through volume of attendance and space limitations. However staff should communicate the relevant pathway and expectations to the patient and we apologise that this does not appear to have happened in your case. We have reminded staff to explain the process within the department. We are working with the CCG and partners in the health economy to assist patients to access the best service for their care.

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