"Once my son was finally seen the nurse..."

About: Darent Valley Hospital

What I liked

Once my son was finally seen the nurse practioner was good, caring and explained things clearly.

What could be improved

On arriving at A&E on Monday night, I was sent to urgent care with my 14yr old son, we approached the desk and I asked to book him in. I was told I could but it would be over 4 hours wait, taking us passed 1am, this was said WITHOUT FINDING OUT WHAT HIS PROBLEM WAS, or I could come back 8 am tomorrow. How can we be given a waiting time of such hours before an assessment or triage, this was totally unacceptable. I took my son home and returned 15 hours later to be told yes he did have a fracture, and give him pain killers, this was ok, but the receptionist wasnt quailfied to suggest going home.

This hospital is under staffed and poorly run, Lots of staff doing nothing. Over the last 12 months both my mother and mother in law have been treated by DVH, my mother was sent there by gp to have tests for suspected stoke like symptons, she was given all clear and died 12 weeks later from brain haemorrhage. My mother in law was taken to ward after suspect scan, lesions on her lung and in stomach, we were told it was cancer, then fluid drained from lungs came back negative so she was discharge. 16 weeks later she died from stomach cancer that had spread. We understand that it was probably to late at that point, by to be told yes it was, no its not , discharged without a definate diagnosis was wrong. Not to mention the pain she was probably in. She had dementia so could not express herself to us about pain, we relied on DVH to diagnose her properly.

Anything else?

I feel these experiences were due to lack of bed space, time for follow up appointments, too many patients in DVH for the staff to handle . This kind of strain on resourses is putting people at risk. Not enough time can be given to patients without keeping other patients waiting.

The car park alone shows how small this hospital is for its catchment area. Cars often parked along Walting Street causing dangers to motorists,

All in all, the standards are dropping, people at risk and its only getting worse.

There are already too many houses in the borough, and there are plans for more, with other hospitals closing its doors, how will DVH cope, as its already failing in some areas.

Story from NHS Choices

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Response from Darent Valley Hospital

Thank you for your comments. I am so very sorry that you have had a bad experience when bringing your son to the A&E department. I will certainly pass this on to the Matron and Lead Consultant for A&E to ensure that correct triage processes are followed. Thank you for your positive comment about the nurse practitioner who saw your son.

I am also very sorry that you lost your mother and mother in law following recent illnesses. If you would like to write to me with the details to the address below, I can look into the issues which caused you concern.

You are right in saying that Darent Valley Hospital is a busy hospital - it is indeed very busy, and our staff work hard to look after the patients in their care. As you will see from many of the comments on this website, this care is most often well regarded and appreciated. However we acknowledge the increasing call on our services, and as a result we have taken on more staff to help manage this. We have also recently expanded our maternity unit, we are opening additional medical wards this winter, and there is an expansion plan for the Accident and Emergency Department also. We have also applied for planning permission to increase the size of the car park.

Please accept my apologies that your experience did not meet the high standards to which we aspire.

Jenny Kay

Director of Nursing

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