"Chest Pains"

About: Good Hope Hospital

It was a scary Saturday night when I developed chest pains watching TV. I had seen my GP a few days earlier and they had suspected I had Angina but the pain on the Saturday night was worse than i had experienced after exercising.

The paramedic who attended was unbelievably good; calm, caring and compassionate and spent about 40 minutes dealing with the pain before calling for an ambulance. I was taken to A&E and put in a cubicle whilst waiting for a bed, the consultant having told me that I needed to be observed (blood tests and another EKG) in case it was a heart attack. At about 2.30am I ended up on AMU.

I have nothing but positive words for AMU - the accommodation, the staff, the food, the attention to detail and the cleanliness of the ward - although it was a bit odd that I didn't see a doctor on the ward until 5am. I did, however, see a consultant at just after 9am (on a Sunday) and went for a variety of tests and scans. I was seen by a cardiologist before being discharged at around 6pm. I have to have an angiograph to see how bad my arteries are furred up but I could not fault the treatment I received with two exceptions.

I waited for hours for the drugs to be dispensed from the pharmacy having been told I could go home which did seem a bit ludicrous.

I was also a bit disconcerted in A&E that I was unable to attract the attention of a nurse when I started having chest pains again. I think the new facility is very good but when you lie in your cubicle all you see is doctors and nurses going back to the central area and tapping on computers. Aside form the consultant who saw me when i arrived and also took bloods, for the four hours I was on a trolley in the cubicle nobody came to check if I was OK and it was impossible to attract anyone's attention. That part of the process needs to be fixed. If you are being admitted it makes sense that you should be checked on rather than just left in a cubicle waiting for a bed.

I think these are minor criticisms compared to the overall experience and I cannot thank the efforts and attention of the paramedics and the staff and doctors in AMU for their kindness and attention. The staff in A&E do, however, need to come out from behind their computers and check on the patients from time to time!

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Response from Marie Helebert, Patient Services Officer, Patient Services, Heart of England Foundation Trust

Dear Anonymous

Thank you very much for your feedback following your recent attendance as a patient, firstly in our Accident and Emergency Department, moving on to our Acute Medical Unit (AMU).

I will be delighted to ensure that your balanced feedback is highlighted to A Birmingham, Matron for Emergency Medicine at Good Hope Hospital, Dr M Sajeel, Clinical Lead for Emergency Medicine at Good Hope Hospital, as well as N Mallett, Matron for Acute Medicine and Dr C Hulley, Clinical Director for Acute Medicine, who will all be thrilled to read your comments and ensure that they are highlighted to all of the team.

I will also ask Matron Angela to pick up on your observations regarding the Emergency Department and discuss this with the Emergency Department staff.

There is a lot of work being done around waiting times for take home drugs once the decision to discharge a patient is made, but there are lots of factors that influence these waiting times, including the number of patients that are being discharged in that day and how quickly the doctor on the ward has completed the discharge medication list on the electronic system and sent it to pharmacy for dispensing, bearing in mind that there may be several to do. I will also ensure that this is highlighted appropriately.

I hope my actions are acceptable and thank you once again for providing your feedback, it is extremely important to us.

I do hope that you are now feeling better and wish to convey my best wishes to you for your continued recovery.

With kind regards

Marie Helebert

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