"Unwelcoming"

About: Airedale General Hospital

I was taken into Airedale Hospital on the 20/04/16, suffering from severe pain in my left side. An ‘out of hours’ doctor had advised me to call an ambulance, as they thought it was the best course of action. The problem has since been diagnosed as kidney stones, which have caused an infection. The ambulance crew that arrived were brilliant, as were the doctors and nurses in the x-ray department. My problem is with the doctors and nurses in the AE department, they made me feel very unwelcome and as if I was wasting their time. Even though I was in excruciating pain and every movement I made amplified this.

The first nurse I came across took six attempts to get a blood sample, a prelude of things to come. I was then moved to the AE ward; no one spoke to me or involved me in any discussion for over an hour. The first time I met a doctor they told me that my bloods came back negative and that I can go home. No mention of finding out what was causing my pain or any further help. I explained as best I could through my pain, that there clearly was something causing this and I simply could not just go home. They vanished for the best part of an hour, on return told me I was going to x-ray. X-ray sadly found no cause, making the AE doctor even more insistent there was nothing wrong with me. Finally, they asked for a urine sample, I said I would try my best to provide one. They left me exposed on a bed, facing out across the busy ward. The least they could have done was draw the curtains across, to give me some privacy. I was able to give a sample which they disappeared for 30mins with, they returned with antibiotics and said that I had an infection and that these would help, then quickly left. I lay in the bed for a further 10mins wondering what was happening next, a nurse barged in and told me my clothes were in a bag behind me and that I can leave. I asked them about what had caused the infection and they replied that they didn’t hear what the doctor said. I asked if I could have any painkillers to help with the pain and I got a short reply of ‘we don’t have any’. As I struggled to leave I passed the nurses station directly opposite my bed, none of them looked up or helped me find my way out. As I walked out I was having to move along the walls at a ‘snail’s pace’ and not one person asked if I needed help.

I have never had to call an ambulance or even visit a doctors in my life, this experience has made me even more thankful for that. I really needed help, for the first time in my life and the staff of this ward made me feel like a parasite. I really hope you do not stand as an example for the rest of the NHS.

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Responses

Response from Airedale General Hospital

We are sorry that you have had such a negative experience within our Emergency Department and that you did not find the staff to be helpful. We would value the opportunity to discuss and investigate your experience and encourage you to contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on 01535 294019.

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