"Out of A&E in only 10 hours"

About: King George Hospital

I went to the Emergency and 'Urgent Care unit at around midnight on Saturday 2nd April after having my first ever seizure about 1.5 hours previously. I checked in with the full expectation to be potentially met by rude reception staff, however they were actually pleasant and polite as they took my details and gave me a red ticket.

I was seen by the triage nurse about 30 minutes after admission which was sufficient given there was about 20-25 people in the waiting room. I went back into the waiting room after the initial assessment and had a blood test about 45 minutes later. I was then told as they were busy I'd be in for a rather long wait and the nurse wasn't kidding! By the time I was assessed and my blood was tested it was around 1.45am.

Fast forward to 5.30am, a nurse did a roll call to see who had actually stayed and who had gone. About 1/4 of the people on the list had left the department.

Fast forward to 7.45am....still waiting...seen the advertisement on how being sugar smart prevents some cancers, diabetes e.t.c. on the tv screen for the millionth time and then looking back at the vending machines full of chocolate, crisps and sugary drinks for the millionth time - ironic isn't it? One of the other patients who had been waiting since 10.30pm the night before, told us there were no doctors working in the department between 6-8am, so much for Emergency and Urgent Care! We'd only seen children admitted at that point which is understandable but we were fed up and could barely remember why we were even there.

My mum then went to speak to reception for the first time since admission at around 8.15am and they told us to go through to Majors. We were finally seen by a doctor at 8.30am and they ran routine tests, told me what may have triggered the seizure, but didn't sound too sure. At this point I was far too exhausted from the wait, to push for any more information but was given antibiotics to treat a UTI which might have caused the seizure and was sent on my way at around 10am.

The medics that dealt with my situation were generally polite and treated me with the respect I deserved and I in turn treated them with respect. I understand that they are under pressure but they don't seem to be adhering to the rules about the 4 hour maximum waiting times. It is unacceptable to make patients wait 8+ hours to be seen by a doctor, because by then the patient is too tired to ask for more tests that could really help get to the bottom of why the medical situation occurred. The patient just wants to get out of the hospital before they are so tired that they walk into traffic!

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from King George Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to make us aware of your experience, I was very sorry to read of the long wait you encountered in our A&E department. Unfortunately, we are not able to determine how many patients are going to access our Emergency Department on any one day and patients that do access the service are triaged based on their clinical need, which can sometimes result in a patient waiting longer than originally anticipated.

If you would like to discuss your concerns further, you can contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service, who will be happy to assist you in any way they can to try to resolve your concerns. The PALS team can be contacted on 01708 435 454, or by email PALS@bhrhospitals.nhs.uk.

Your Sincerely

Dr Nadeem Moghal

Medical Director

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