"23 hours in Medical Assessment Unit"

About: Royal Gwent Hospital / Accident & Emergency

(as other),

Firstly not a rant about the staff, just awe they are still prepared to work there! I accompanied my deaf partner there for an issue, at the end of 23 hours its a wonder I wasn't on a bed getting treatment too. There was no chance of getting any sleep or rest of any kind, because as some sort of interim area between A&E and general wards you were subject to endless comings and goings, lights being switched on then off then on again, and and endless stream of staff taking BP, heart readings, bloods, etc which went on all nigh 2 or 3 times an hour too.

This was apparently a norm, but in our case we were two deaf people, unable to follow properly what was being asked or said by medical staff. we had tried in the ambulance on the way, nothing happened, we tried again on admittance, again nothing transpired, so I was reduced to acting interpreter via having things written down for me that I then used sign language to me partner. Had my partner came in alone she would still be there hand the Docs struggling to get to the root of the problem.

I can assure you staying upright for 23 hrs on the go, is no easy task as every time a test took place I had to explain to the patient what it was for. 23hrs in MAU, and I was awake 11 hours prior to that. Being in my 70s it is hard going. The staff were willing enough to ensure I knew what was going on, although some Dr's and staff would not write things down for me which induced stress on the patient because I was unable to clarify what they were doing or why.

The MAU had nil privacy and I was frankly applaud the 23hrs I was there patients sleeping in chairs not beds and parked in the gangway by doors. It was very difficult for people changing clothing or needing toilet help unable to easily get out of a chair.. I am no expert on Hygiene in hospitals but the way people wandered aimlessly about in boredom and interacted, an infection of any kind could very easily have decimated us all! There was little or no attempt whatever to use the barrier gels e. g.

One wonders what would have happened, if someone had a weird and wonderful issue and we all got it. I suspect the fortunates were us, because outside in the waiting room of the MAU hordes more were left to sleep all night there as well. When we were there we had to sit alongside a water cooler and next to a young girl vomiting hour on hour, and sitting on the arm of our chair.

Staff seemed different on change overs, the night staff clearly teed off being there, and preferring to be somewhere else, and the day staff were pretty good and very helpful. Night staff appeared to be a little rough when doing needle tests at night. The lack of any sort of sleep or rest at night I felt wasn't all that helpful in reassuring the patient and contributed to increased stress levels in the patient.

There were far too many patients in MAU, I would estimate in excess of 50% at any given time. And that wasn't counting the ones who had to sleep outside the door waiting their turn. SO I would like to see support for disabled patients set up straight away, we cannot hear what people say, my partner cannot speak, the mind boggles she and myself were there in excess of 23hrs with no help for that. And at one point we felt let's go home instead, it is fortunate we did not as they identified a very serious and imminent problem.

I have nil but admiration for the medical staff, but hope to God I never have to go there again.

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