"Treatment in A&E both good and bad "

About: Tameside General Hospital / Accident and emergency

(as the patient),

I arrived in A/E in a distressed condition after sustaining a fall which was classed as a Head injury. As I was unaware what happened I lost consciousness for approximately 5 minutes according to my family. I have no recollection of what occurred. I was aware however that my husband was giving information about what happened and as all care was given quite professionally and with care and dignity.

However, this changed when he had mentioned that I had 4 glasses of Vodka prior to my accident. I felt the staff presumed I was just drunk. I think my husband’s comment was taken out of context because the staff misconstrued that it was 4 glasses of neat vodka when in fact it was 4 Units of 50mls with Coca Cola.

I was given remarkable treatment and as I have stated this changed. My husband said that when I was classed as intoxicated, he felt that no-one seemed interested any more. I do recall certain things that happened and if I was as intoxicated as they say, why on earth did I recover as quickly as it happened. When I asked for another drink of water I was told I should not have drunk the first one so quickly. No one asked if I had Polydipsia, which I think they should have known.

This message is double sided as the care I received immediately was excellent but after a misguided comment, I feel as if I was put to one side to await transfer to a ward.

May I just say that when anyone is admitted to A/E, I think staff should listen correctly and not go off in a tangent at the mere mention of a misguided word.

Do you have a similar story to tell? Tell your story & make a difference ››


Response from Philip Dylak, Director of Nursing, Tameside Hospital Foundation Trust

Dear Mhairi,

Thank you for submitting these comments. First of all, may I say that I hope you are now feeling much better following your fall. I was very pleased to read that you felt you were treated professionally with care and dignity, and that you had care that was at times remarkable and excellent. It is important that staff take into account all relevant factors when assessing and treating a patient, and I am sure you will appreciate that our staff would have to entertain the possibility of a link between the consumption of alcohol and a fall. However, it is important that an accurate history is obtained and that staff behavior is appropriate, and I am sorry if this was not the case in your experience. Likewise, I apologise for the remarks made by the member of staff when you asked for a second drink of water. These remarks are clearly inappropriate. This posting raises some important learning points about effective and accurate history taking and not making inappropriate assumptions about people, and I will ensure that both your positive and negative comments are brought to the attention of the relevant staff.

Thanks again

  • {{helpful}} of {{total()}} people think this response is helpful