"Poor with no allowance made for young..."

About: Luton & Dunstable Hospital

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I took my 3 year old son to A&E because he had fallen of a chair and was complaining that his arm hurt. A&E was fine the nurse and the X-ray staff were fine only waited 2.5 hours which was quicker than expected. When the saw the doctor who was very rude and told me that my sons arm was fine and we should go home, we were made to feel like we had wasted time. He then kept waking up in pain at night and his arm hurting. Then just over a week later we recieved a call that his arm was infact broken and we should attend a fracture clinic, no appology was given. My girlfriend took my son to the fracture clinic and was there over 2.5 hours with a wait of over 1.5 hours before being seen. She was told that his arm was healing well and that an appointment would be made in 2 weeks time. So today when went to the facture clinic with an appointment of 10.30, on arrive we asked how long the delay would be was told an hour. We waited and wait and it took 4.5 hours to be seen. Asking the staff on we were told that no allowance is made for young children or old people. I feel that an appointment should be an estmated time of being seen. We all expect to wait a bit. but it seems they tell everyone to arrive between 9.30 and 10.30 and then to wait ages to be seen. We asked several times how long the wait would be and wasnt given any clear answer, if we were told it would be 3 or 4 hours we could of come back later in the day. Plus the room was very hot and there wasnt enough seats, we stood for the first 3 hours. There was no toys or anything to keep ypung children happy.

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Response from Luton & Dunstable Hospital

Thank you for your comments, and we apologise for any inconvenience you and your family experienced. We accept that the current arrangements for the fracture clinic are not satisfactory and there are many contributing factors for this including an increasing number of attendances and restricted space. A working group has been set up to make improvements and has already started work on a number of aspects such as changing the current appointment system so patients can be seen at or close to their appointment time, improving information to patients, improving the clinic environment and evaluating numbers of clinic staff needed throughout the sessions to improve patient flow – for example increasing the number of plaster technicians at peak times to reduce waiting times. In addition, we are pleased to say that the hospital has allocated some funds to this project which could be spent on children’s toys, information boards or other improvements which we hope will further improve the experience for our patients.

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