"10 hour A&E visit - not enough staff and place..."

About: Queen's Medical Centre

Referred to QMC from my local walk in centre with suspected Pneumonia. Arrived at 5.15pm 14/2/16 Took 3hours to see a doctor. Asked for pain relief, none came. Sent to x-ray which was really quick. Then the long wait started. The flow of staff and procedures seemed very labour intensive. Patients were up and down up and down. Why were bloods not taken when I was with the doctor in the first place? so all tests were done instead of waiting in-between every procedure?

The member of staff taking my blood cocked up and couldn't get a cannula in and gave up but just managed to get blood (very painful - whilst already in a great deal of pain). Yet again asked for pain relief - none came. 2 hrs 45min later still no blood results and no pain relief.. In the meantime another call in by different member of staff, "we need to get a cannula in.... what for I asked? to get blood for tests! But I have had blood test!! " ohh ok" The member of staff proceeded to try and place a cannula even after I told him that the doctor had said wait to see what the blood results came back with first.

After 1 failed cannula attempt that showered me in the flush fluid as it failed, a very painful second attempt was successful. Desperate for pain relief now, pleaded to have some - none came. I now have two very bruised and battered hands! Massive delay to blood results as the blood machine was broken. Cannula was not needed as doctor mentioned, so went through painful insertion just to have it removed at 2.00am

The place all the patients were waiting in was tiny, brilliant for passing all the germs around! The floor was covered in dirt, cups, food rubbish, dried blood, bloody dressings from blood tests, sticky pads from ECG. Beds in treatment rooms all needed scrubbing, chairs were dirty. It was not good. Myself and another member of the public had to look after an extremely frail old lady who had been waiting for a bed since 1pm that afternoon. We kept asking nurses to take her to the toilet and for pain relief. It got so desperate when no nurses saw to her that a member of the public wheeled her in her chair to the toilets before she had an accident. She was offered no food water, tea etc. We got her water for her.

I finally got pain meds at 1.30am 8 hours after asking for some. I was diagnosed with Pneumonia and sent home with meds at 2.05am.

I love and fought for the NHS under Margaret Thatcher's era and have the upmost respect for all the staff that work as part of the NHS. I understand winter time and weekends are busy but there is no excuses for not providing pain relief for 8 hours, dirty departments and poor patient processing and lack of staff.

Upon leaving the QMC the A&E department looked like a war zone with Ambulance men and women unable to pass there patient over and were queuing in every corridor and room possible, Ambulances were everywhere outside as they couldn't leave!

The NHS really is at breaking point!

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Queen's Medical Centre

Thank you for leaving such detailed feedback. The level of care and cleanliness standards you describe are concerning. I would like to discuss further with you so that we can look into and come back to you with a full explanation. You can reach me on john.gray@nuh.nhs.uk or 0115 9249924 ext. 66708.

Kind regards,

John Gray.

Interim Divisional Nurse, Medicine.

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