"Great Doctor but the rest of the experience was..."

About: University College Hospital

A recent visit to the emergency department was a very poor experience. The issues are numerous and so a summary is offered here. It could be summed up by saying the whole front end experience at ED needs to be revamped. There is no thought into the current setup.

The following areas need to be improved: the attitude, communication skills, demeanour and timeliness of the front desk staff. It shouldn't take 25mins to even register, sick/injured patients shouldn't be standing for long periods and when they meet the front line of UCLH it shouldn't be such a stand offish aloof experience. The next area is the environment - for a department where a long wait is expected the seating is unsuitable, its very noise, strewn with litter and the toilets were blocked. While security passed through several times not once did anyone check the facilities, tidy up or communicate with patients. The next problem is triage. In theory this should be within 15 mins of turning up but it was well over the hour mark. This isn't safe and the trust can expect to miss sick people. It was clear there was little redirection at the front door either. The triage was interrupted several times by a senior medic who didn't introduce themselves or explain why they were there. There was then a further wait for medical assessment with little information. However, the medical assessment was thorough and performed by Dr who should be a shining example to the rest of the department who wholeheartedly let their good experience down. The only problem for the Dr is that the trust has no ability to follow up a clear injury with the relevant clinic appointment directing the patient to either see their GP for urgent referral or to return to the department if this proved not possible. This is unacceptable and a waste of resources. This experience was almost identical to previous visits.

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Response from University College Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to feed back to us. We are very sorry to hear about your recent experience of A&E at UCLH. We would be grateful if you could contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) via pals@uclh.nhs.uk or by calling 020 3447 3042 so that we can look into this.

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