"Good care spoiled by poor service from reception. "

About: Royal Bournemouth General Hospital

(as the patient),

in June I was unfortunate enough to seriously hurt my knee and was taken by ambulance to the emergency department in the Royal Bournemouth Hospital at about 21:30. Whilst the ambulance staff and the care I received in this department was excellent I was caused much distress by the treatment I received from the receptionist. At this time my partner and I had just missed the last bus as it was 23:20. We had the right bus fare but no other money on us. When we tried to book a taxi - the company simply refused even though we had the money at home. When we asked if there was any other way in getting home the receptionist became increasingly unhelpful. I would point out that our home is in Winton, a 2.8 mile walk, and I was on crutches and in immense pain. She penalised us for not knowing anyone who could come and get us as me and my partner (a H.C.A) have only just recently moved to Bournemouth. She used increasingly louder tones as if to intimidate and made us feel rather ashamed in front of the rest of the people in the waiting room. She continued to belittle us by asking ‘If you knew you couldn’t get home why did you come to the hospital’ even though she knew I had been brought in by ambulance. Her last comment was most insulting, ‘If you can’t even get home what do you live on? What do you spend you’re money on’. She then said we would have to wait in the waiting room until our bus came at 07.30am. This caused me a lot of distress as I felt abandoned by the hospital. Eventually my partner and I had no other choice than to walk home which has only stressed my injury further. Having left the hospital at 12.3oam, we reached our home at 2.20am. The area we walked through was not a particularly safe area and we were both very tired and cold when we got in. I know that in the AAU department that patients who are discharged are helped home whether a receipt is given to a taxi driver or they are taken in an ambulance car. I can not understand on leaving the emergency department we were left in such a way as to make us seem unimportant and a hindrance.

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