"Awful, disgraceful , failure and a waste of..."

About: Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital

My daughter was seriously ill and after a visit you to a GP she dialled 111 and was advised to go to A&E at rake lane , they examined her and said that she needed to go urgently to cramlington - the idea here is that if north Tyneside, Wansbeck and Hexham feel that you need specialist emergency treatment then you come to this centre.

The receptionist at

A&E needs a serious course in customer service.

Waiting - lots of information signs advising that the wait is 4 hours ..in 4 hours I could have flown my daughter to another country.

Ok so after 2 hours of waiting to be triaged nothing had happened so I approached the receptionist - they were shocked at my wait and said I should go talk to the doctors and nurses who were congregated around a centre area gossiping - I reminded the doctor of my daughters symptoms and blood pressure which was serious enough to cause a risk of a stroke - the doctor said there was a 3.5 hour wait yet to see my daughter

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Response from Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital

Dear Sir/Madam,

I do hope your daughter is feeling a lot better. Thank you for getting in touch with us and raising your concerns, I am sorry that the advice you received from 111 was not accurate and that this resulted in you attending the wrong location for treatment.

I am also deeply sorry that the reception staff demonstrated such poor customer service for you, regardless of how busy we are rudeness is never acceptable - I would like to ensure that this is looked into. Please could you email your daughter’s details and the date and time of your visit to allow me to find out what happened. My email is Annie.Laverty@nhct.nhs.uk.

I appreciate that the wait you and your daughter experienced for treatment was upsetting, please be assured that we are doing everything we can to improve the timeliness of our service. I share the following information with you, not as a justification of poor care but just to help you understand more about our current situation.

The start to this year has been our busiest on record - the scale of this increased demand has been huge. During the first three months of 2016 we have seen over 9,000 more people in urgent and emergency care than in the same period in 2015.

Whilst the majority of these patients have been treated promptly, this increase has inevitably had an impact on our waiting time performance for the quarter which we expect to be around 90 per cent.

We have previously always met the national target of 95%.

This is also the first year of The Northumbria hospital and in the midst of these pressures, we should not underestimate or lose sight of the many positive effects on patient care and clinical outcomes that have been delivered.

We have seen a reduction in emergency admissions, reduced length of stay for those who need inpatient care and a reduction in hospital readmission rates.

There is still work for us all to do as we continue to refine this new model of providing emergency care to make sure that both the public and our partners in primary care understand how to make best use of this service.

We will continue to listen to all feedback from staff and patients to help with these improvements.

We all know that currently there are staffing pressures across all of our hospitals and in the community.

We know that the whole NHS is currently experiencing recruitment challenges for both nursing and medical staff.

This is a top priority for the trust and this week we have launched our own Northumbria nursing degree in partnership with Northumbria University.

We are also working with partners in the region to step up recruitment efforts, not only for Northumbria, but also for NHS North East as a whole.

I hope this provides you with some reassurance that we take any shortfall in care very seriously indeed – I also hope you feel able to get in touch to work with us to resolve the concerns you have.

Kind regards,


Annie Laverty - Director of Patient Experience