"Emergency Department"

About: West Middlesex University Hospital

Why isn't the Urgent Care unit listed in the drop-down menu of departments? It makes it really difficult to give a review, since if you're in A&E you're in no fit state to pick up a leaflet, believe me.

Anyway, I struggled for some time over how many stars to give the Emergency department.The waiting area was so crowded that there weren't enough chairs to go round, and people clearly in pain were standing around being held up by relatives; the treatment area was nearly as crowded, with people (me included) standing in corridors and blocking the way for stretchers; I had my treatment sitting on a chair in a draughty corridor near a constantly opening door.

So why five stars, I hear you ask? Because the staff battling to help people in these very challenging circumstances were magnificent. I sat in this department, quite near the central desk for 45 minutes, and during that time I saw nothing but people working their socks off, with patience and compassion, barely pausing for a second. From the admin. staff, the porters and ambulance drivers who came in and out to collect and deliver patients, the nurses, the doctors - everyone was giving it rock all. My doctor sat me in the corridor as it was obvious that I was in a lot of pain and this was the quickest way to get me started on treatment, immediately wrapped me in blankets as it was a cold corridor and sent me home feeling a lot better.

Our doctors and nurses, all our healthcare staff, shouldn't have to work in these conditions, but they do, and they do it superbly. I hope I never hear anyone complaining about the long waits in A&E again.

Story from NHS Choices

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