"A&E - two good and two bad experiences"
About: Royal Berkshire Hospital Royal Berkshire Hospital Reading RG1 5AN
Over the past five years I've gone to the A&E department at the Royal Berkshire four times.
Once with my son, twice with my daughter and once on my own account.
The problems we had were: 1. appendicitis (daughter), 2. broken wrist (daughter) 3. respiratory infection (son), 4. heavy bleeding in second trimester of pregnancy (myself).
I was very happy with the care my daughter received on both occasions.
She was seen and treated very quickly for her broken wrist in the children's A&E.
Although we had to wait a long time for her to be seen initially with appendicitis, this was understandable as was a very busy time in the children's A&E.
She was admitted, had her operation quickly and everything went very smoothly afterwards.
We were not so lucky when we visited A&E with my son on his first birthday.
He was floppy and listless, suffering from a respiratory infection, and we were finding it impossible to get him to take any food or fluids as he was too sick to take them.
The doctor I saw that night did not pay proper attention to my son's condition.
Their only advice to me was to "take him home and give him some birthday cake", which I found quite upsetting as it was so obvious that my son wasn't in any fit state for cake or any form of celebration.
I left and took my son to our GP the next day.
They were not happy to hear about our experience with the doctor in A&E.
Although my son's condition hadn't changed since our visit to A&E they said that in their view his illness was serious and they referred us straight back to A&E.
We saw a different doctor who decided to admit my son and he then spent the next 5 days in the RBH, ending up on a drip and antibiotics.
I was happy with the care he received when we returned to A&E and on the ward, but very disappointed with the standard of care of the first doctor we saw in A&E.
The fourth, and most recent visit I have made to A&E has been the only one on my account.
I was bleeding heavily and believed I was suffering a miscarriage.
I was seen very quickly and treated sensitively on arrival by the receptionist.
My husband and I were allowed to wait in a separate area and a nurse quickly came to take details.
I was also seen quickly by a doctor, who examined me and noted that the bleeding seemed to have slowed considerably, but still wanted to admit me to hospital.
They explained that there were no places on the ward at that time.
It was about 1 o'clock in the morning of a busy Saturday night.
My husband had to leave me in A&E to take over from our babysitter at home.
I was left alone in the room and not checked by any member of staff for the next 3 hours.
During that time I could hear an elderly lady nearby repeatedly calling for help but no one went to her either.
I did, however, hear a nurse bantering with a group who had been in an accident.
I felt I would be safer at home where there was someone to notice if I started to bleed heavily again and so checked myself out against advice.