"Lack of autism awareness"

About: University Hospital (Coventry)

I had to take a friend with autism to A&E with an eye problem on the advice of the out of hours GP. Eye casualty helpfully shuts at 12.30 on Saturdays, so we had to go to the normal A&E.

On arrival we told the receptionist that my friend has autism and was highly anxious and they advised to make the triage nurse aware. When we did the triage nurse was quite rude and just said 'well I can't fast track you, you're not an emergency, you have to wait in the queue like everyone else. '

I fully appreciate hers was not a life or death emergency, but the triage could not even bring themself to reassure her and tell her that she would be seen as quickly as possible. The triage nurse had to bark at her and make her feel like she was after a freebie.

In the event we had to wait longer than the advertised time, but the receptionist was very kind to me when I made enquiries how much longer it would be. But by now my friend was rocking in her seat with stress.

I'm very unimpressed with the behaviour of the triage nurse.

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Response from University Hospital (Coventry)

Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback on your experience at University Hospital, Coventry. It is disappointing to read your comments. We would hope that our staff would be friendly and show respect to any patient, and from your comments it seems as though this didn't happen. We apologise for this, especially as it made your friend's experience worse. Please be assured that I have passed your comments onto the Matron for A&E to act upon. If you would like to discuss aspects of your care further then please contact the Trust’s Patient Advice and Liaison Service on 0800 028 4203.

If you would prefer to contact us by e-mail, our address is feedback@uhcw.nhs.uk Alternatively, you can write to us at the following address:

PALS University Hospital Clifford Bridge Road Coventry CV2 2DX If you do decide to contact us, please make us aware that you have left comments on the NHS Choices website. The Trust is grateful for all feedback, positive or negative, as it means we can better understand what is important to our patients. Thank you for leaving your comments on NHS Choices. Communications Team University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust Telephone 0800 028 4203

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