"seems to be going down hill.."

About: Sunderland Royal Hospital

I attended A&E on the advice of the 111 service with a back injury, the reception staff were very friendly and pleasant, which is the only high point of my visit here.

I was asked to take a seat and wait for triage, which took around ten minutes, which is very fast, unfortunately the nurse decided to triage me in the main waiting room in front of a dozen or so other patients which i find completely unacceptable. what if i had a private problem that warranted further discussion? anyway, the nurse basically handed me a slip of paper between finger and thumb and said curtly "take this to the green area down the corridor there.." the nurse's tone was quite harsh as if they blatantly didn't care and had other more important things to do (everyone has a bad day, and its acceptable to a point in such a high stress job..) i encountered a lovely cleaning person on the way down to the mythical "green room" who pointed me in the right direction.

In the green area, i handed my card to a health care assistant who assured me i would be seen soon. about an hour later,(again no complaints about the time.. i felt this was appropriate for me) i was called forward, to see a nurse, who once again was very curt, and after explaining the problem, and explaining that i was sent by 111, and although the pain was minimal now, i had concerns about nerve impingement/spine damage.. to which the nurse rolled their eyes , and i was told "they send everyone to a&e and frankly theres no need".. the nurse then left the room, and i overheard them commenting that it (i?) was "another waste of time.." or words to that effect.. when the nurse returned i was examined, and voiced my concerns again of spinal damage, as i was having numbness in one leg, i was told "it wont be, its just muscular" offered no further examinations and sent on my way feeling like i was some kind of fraud or time waster after some time the pain did get better, but unfortunately reoccurred a few weeks later. this time i attended another local a&e department, after my dissatisfaction with my treatment at Sunderland royal, where i was diagnosed with a lumbar disc fracture after receiving proper investigations and treatment and i am now waiting for a full ortho referral at the other hospital.

now, thankfully, it seems to be only a mild injury and ive been informed i can recover back to 100% from it without surgical intervention.. I am just pleased that i now have a diagnosis to work from so i can make changes and move on with life without the mystery back pain flare ups and not knowing why.

I cant help but wonder how many other, more serious injuries they've missed out on.

thanks to choose and book system, i will never be using SRH but for the direst of emergency and i truly hope this is a one off situation.

Story from NHS Choices

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