"Short wait to be seen by a doctor. ..."

About: Royal Bolton Hospital

(as a relative),

What I liked

Short wait to be seen by a doctor. However, the department wasn't very busy and there were plenty of staff around, so this is not really surprising.

What could be improved

Everything! I attended the A&E department after hearing that my girlfriend was going to hospital with severe leg pain. The first doctor who examined her clearly thought that she was a timewaster, and offered no pain relief despite causing even more pain due to the examination. But there was far worse to come. Three more doctors were asked to examine her, and each repeated the same extremely painful examination, repetition of which was completely pointless, with no adequate pain relief offered. The first examining doctor wanted to discharge her with her current (ineffective) pain relief, until I intervened; fortunately, my suggestion was accepted and an improved prescription was provided. Their attitude became increasingly aggressive and unprofessional. An ultrasound scan was suggested by one doctor, but no more was heard about this. My girlfriend arrived in agony, had even worse pain inflicted upon her, and went home in great distress. To make things worse, the medicines she brought into hospital were lost upon arrival, and we were told that this "always happens here". If that isn't potentially dangerous critical incident, I don't know what is. Additionally, the cubicle was dirty and untidy, with used dressings and needles all over the floor.

Anything else?

No observations or formal triage assessment were carried out on admission, despite abnormal observations in the ambulance,and no nursing care was given at any point. But what is most sickening is that my girlfriend and I have over 50 years of NHS experience between us, yet this experience made us feel ashamed to say that we work for the NHS. While none of us is perfect, and we understand that A&E, and acute NHS services generally, are constantly under pressure, nothing can excuse what I witnessed and my girlfriend experienced last week. Letters of complaint are being sent to several members of senior hospital staff, as I am simply not willing to allow this level of neglect and abuse to go unnoticed.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Royal Bolton Hospital

Thank you for your comments regarding your recent attendance at the Accident and Emergency Department. I am sorry that you felt you had a bad experience with your girlfriend's care and I will take your concerns seriously within the department. I will inform the staff in the Emergency Department about your concerns in regards to your girlfiend's treatment. As you rightly say, sometimes the A and E department is under extreme pressure, but this should not affect the standard of care you receive. Once again may I express how sorry I am that you felt your experience was not of a satisfactory standard.

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