"Good clinical care but the service is..."

About: Russells Hall Hospital

What I liked

Each of the clinical staff were very thorough and the service when finally received was in my opinion clinically a good one.

What could be improved

It was my young son that needed to attend the A&E Department during the weekend, and unfortunatly there were minimal doctors or nurses on duty that could conduct early face to face triage or request xrays to speed the system up for those people waiting only vecause of concerns of fractures. I consider this must happen in many cases, and most without fractures could leave the hospital much earlier than the slight onver 4 hour wait experienced by most patients it seemed from looking around in the general waiting area. It' almost gfives you the feeling that unless its life threatening your average wait is 3 -4 hours long rather that co-ordinating early investigations to see who can be discharge earlier if there are satisfactory results to tests or xrays. My som had a suspected broke jaw due to a fall so felt A&E was our only option as it seemed an xray was required and possibly sutures as the bleeding was fairly heavy and difficult to stem with steristrips. Luckily for my son there was no fracture but I think that had t here been staff able to authorize early xrays we needn't have remained at the hospital for so long. Its a pity that the flow of patients did not provide a good experience because the actual clincal care when you get it is good. Even the xray department when we got there was not busy at all, they were just waiting for activity to come through. Normally I would try to access an xray form via my GP or attend the minor injuries unit at Kidd to avoid having to go to Russells Hall at all whenever possible as the parking is always problematic too, but on this occassion I was not sure the required xray equipment would be available at a minor injuries unit for a jaw injury so Russelsl Hall seemed the only sensible option.

Anything else?

Better co-ordinated triage, with access to early investigations and xray facilities to determine the diagnosis mighti mprove waiting times for many patients. Also, many patients seem to be attending with very minor illnesses/injuries that could be treated better elsewhere but of course at the weekend most peoples resort straight away to A&E for many things.

Story from NHS Choices

Do you have a similar story to tell? Tell your story & make a difference ››


Response from Russells Hall Hospital

Thank you for your comments on your experience of our Accident and Emergency service. Although we cannot go into the specifics of your visit, we would like to explain the procedure when patients come to A&E.

Staffing levels and access to X-ray should be the same seven days a week. As you say, we do tend to see more patients in our A&E department at weekends (because GP practices are closed). Patients with major injuries are triaged and early investigations happen, where appropriate, in order of priority i.e. the sickest patients will be seen first. With some types of injuries, for example facial injuries, it is more appropriate to have a full consultation prior to X-ray.

It is not our standard practice to triage patients with minor injuries. Instead patients with minor injuries wait to be seen by an emergency nurse practioner or a doctor in the minor injuries area. However, if their symptoms worsen or they are in great pain they would be seen by a triage nurse to assess whether they need to be treated more urgently.

We do note that you feel the staff were thorough and you received clinically good care but you have raised a number of issues and we would welcome the opportunity to discuss them further with you. Please contact the A&E matron’s secretary on (01384) 456111 extension 2323 who would be pleased to make an appointment for you.

  • {{helpful}} of {{total()}} people think this response is helpful