"Massive hospital, not enough staff"
About: Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital Cramlington NE23 6NZ
Terrible experience and I hope I never have to go to this hospital again.
Was sent there after going to a 'walk in' where all my paperwork was done and I was given an envelope to hand over.
I had blood in my urine and was in a lot of pain in my kidney area. I have cysts on my kidney and was concerned this was causing my pain. My blood pressure was also raised.
I gave the receptionist the envelope and then took a seat in the main waiting area. After 2 hours I asked at the desk for some pain relief, I had to go to the 'green area' to find a nurse. They took me into a room, gave me 2 paracetamol, took my blood pressure again, put a tag on my wrist and showed me to another waiting area. At this point I was made aware that I would have a long wait.
I have a form of spina bifida and use a walking stick to help my balance. The waiting area was small for such a big department and there are not many chairs, so due to this and the confined space, I stood in the corridor.
I felt really ill, sweating, palpitations and in pain. I felt if I stood there much longer I would collapse. I went to find a nurse to tell them I was leaving because I felt the next person would get seen quicker if the staff were aware I had gone. I needed to get home and sit down before I fell down.
This was an awful experience and whilst I know every A&E department is busy and I am not the only sick person in the North East, this was scary.
The main waiting area felt like a shopping forum, then you get put in different areas waiting to be seen. These areas are small and confined and whilst there seemed to be several staff milling about, no-one seemed to know what their purpose was. I waited over 2 hours to get a ID bracelet put on. I didn't even get to the 'blood sample' stage and in all this time, I only saw 2/3 people get called in. You shouldn't have to collapse in an A&E department to get seen, this is the reason for you being there in the first place, to prevent this happening surely?
This was a scary experience and I was petrified I would need an ambulance and get taken back there. Awful, truly awful. Why build state of the art hospitals, when the NHS haven't got the staff to run them properly.