"A&E - absolutely horrendous."

About: Pinderfields General Hospital

What I liked

I was admitted into A&E after a very bad fall whilst 34 weeks pregnant. In A&E it was established that I had fractured my pelvis.

The x-ray team were fantastic - I was in a significant amount of pain, and could not have any pain relief due to my advanced pregnancy. The x-ray technician held my hand, and provided me with reassurance and kindness.

The nurses on the orthopaedic ward were friendly and reassuring. I was very distressed and they treated me with kindness.

The orthopaedic consultant and his team took a pragmatic view on my injuries and were sufficiently confident in their own abilities to know their limitations. They discussed my condition with me in full and agreed that it was best to move me to another hospital where I could receive specialist treatment.

There is no 24hr obstetric unit at Pinderfields, although the team from the ante-natal day unit did visit me and provide me with reassurance.

The Chaplain was very friendly without being intrusive, and he was culturally sensitive.

What could be improved

My experience in A&E was nothing short of horrific, and I still have nightmares about it.

The A&E department does not have access to foetal monitoring equipment, so we had to wait two hours to find out whether or not our baby had been affected by my fall. This was the longest two hours of my life.

Worse, many of the A&E staff seemed unable to understand that this might be in any way very distressing, and no attempt was made to expedite the arrival of a midwife with ultrasound equipment.

I could not be given any pain relief because they were unable to find a doctor who could confirm what pain relief was safe to give a pregnant woman.

I knew that I needed to remain calm and keep my blood pressure down in order to minimise the risk of miscarrying my baby. Clearly this was not a good strategy, because I was left with the distinct impression that the A&E staff did not believe that I was seriously injured, on the basis that I wasn't screaming the place down. Drunk patients were treated ahead of me.

The A&E nurses treated me with brutality. Before my x-ray, they attempted to pull down my trousers and underpants instead of simply cutting them off. They simply did not seem able to understand how much pain I was in. One of the nurses suggested that I probably did feel "sore and bruised" which is quite an understatement considering that I had a serious fracture.

Two nurses tried to force me onto a bed-pan, knowing that I had a broken pelvis, and with me repeatedly requesting a catheter. I was screaming in pain and my husband had to shout at them to make them stop.

The nurses on the ward fitted a catheter quicky and painlessly, and were appalled by A&E's inappropriate approach with the bedpan.

Anything else?

Once I was admitted to a ward, I received a good standard of care.

It is concerning to see how overworked the nurses are, especially at night.

My experience at A&E was so appalling that I hope I never go there again. I had the accident in mid-Yorks and so was taken to Pinderfields by ambulance - however, given the choice, I would go to Leeds.

It took so long to be seen, and so long to see a doctor with suitable expertise, that in the long run my treatment times would not have been any longer had I been able to get in a car and go to Leeds.AccidentsFracturesPatient careReassuringOrthopaedicsX-rayAmbulanceX-rayDoctorsNursing staffOpening hoursAccessibilityConsultantsHypertensionConsiderateRadiologyMidwifeApproachable

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Response from Pinderfields General Hospital

We are concerned to note these comments and would invite the patient to contact us on 01924 543687 in order that we may investigate.

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