"A&E could try harder, perhaps even try"

About: Gloucestershire Royal Hospital

I went to A&E this week with retention of urine following an investigatory day case operation. For those of you who don't know this is a painful and embarrassing condition. Consequently I had been awake all night and when I arrived I was at a pretty low ebb.

There was no one else in the waiting room so I had hopes of fairly speedy relief of my pain, but I had to wait about half an hour before I could be seen. During this time needed to pace up and down to distract me from the pain. A cleaner, who could not have been mistaken for a ray of sunshine, asked me to sit down because I might slip on the wet floor. Frankly, when you are in that much pain you are not too bothered about falling over.

The next problem was convincing the nurse that I had indeed had the investigation that I described. They had never heard of it but humoured me by pretending that they believed me. They gave me some cocodamol, but this had no effect.

Then to another waiting room for another wait. One other person there who also seemed to be in pain, but she eventually walked out and was never seen again.

Then to a cubicle where I again waited. Someone turns up and scans my bladder, which was indeed full to bursting. Another wait (remember still in considerable pain) then someone turns up and catherterises me and at last, about two hours after arrival the pain recedes. The nurse seemed to be worried about the blood in the urine despite me telling them that I had had a, by now, imaginary procedure that caused it.

A doctor turns up. They had never heard of the procedure either, but they again humoured me.

I left with minimal instructions about working the catheter. I have a leg bag so although I was very tired could not get to sleep that night (try fastening a leaky hot water bottle to your leg with some slack elastic bands and you might get the idea). I now understand that there are other arrangements for night but nothing had been explained.

At one stage I overheard someone remark that I hadn't come by ambulance, I had just walked in. Not sure that walking in helps your credibility. Advice to reader: always use an ambulance when you can.

All in all I felt that I was treated as something of a nuisance, even a fraud.

It remains to be seen whether the follow-ups that were promised actually transpire.

Not a single thing that would stand up as a complaint even in a hospital with such a poor CQC rating as GRH, but a pretty sorry tale all the same.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Gloucestershire Royal Hospital

Hello there,

Many thanks for taking the time to share this feedback with us. We're sorry to hear about your experiences in A&E and would encourage you, if you haven't already done so, to get in touch with our patient liaison (PALS) team who will be able to take a few more details and investigate the issues you have raised further. You can call them on 0800 019 3282 (Free phone) or email pals.gloucestershirehospitals@glos.nhs.uk Thanks again for bringing this to our attention. Best wishes, The team at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

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