"The attempts by the triage nurse to..."
About: Sunderland Royal Hospital Sunderland Royal Hospital Sunderland SR4 7TP
What I liked
The attempts by the triage nurse to treat me as a human being were admirable but futile.
What could be improved
Having been sent to A&E by an NHS Direct GP for complications of a gynaecological condition, I was assessed by a triage nurse who immediately bleeped the gynaecology registrar. Despite the obvious pain I was experiencing, and the life-threatening nature of my condition (which had been pointed out by the NHS Direct GP), the doctor told me to go home or wait in the minor injuries area. The triage nurse attempted to reason with the doctor but was shouted down. The nurse was very apologetic but had no choice but to ask me to wait. My partner and I waited for 3 hours surrounded by drug addicts and drunk, aggressive teenagers. In 3 hours, we saw 2 patients taken into cubicles to be assessed and saw a total of 3 nurses in the entire time. The minor injuries area has no windows, a TV on constant skynews loop, high heating levels, terrible odour, filthy floors, walls, chairs and surfaces covered with old, tatty patient leaftlets.
Eventually the aggression levels reached a peak and we had no choice but to remove ourselves from the appalling environment. I was unable to sit down due to my condition, so we decided I would be better off lying in bed at home. I rang my GP the next morning who saw me urgently. They referred me urgently to a different hospital. I was successfully and compassionately treated that day.
The minor injuries environment is so far from therapeutic. Sunderland City Hospitals leaders should spend an evening there to judge whether they would like it any better if they were sick and in pain.