"Excellent hospital treatment, but frighteningly..."

About: The Royal London Hospital

What I liked

The A&E department were very efficient, I was treated well and in general my questions were well answered. I was in Cambridge ward for one night and then moved to Milward ward. It should be noted the accommodation was not same-sex in Cambridge ward. While I was given excellent medical treatment there, it was very chaotic and I got the impression the ward was understaffed.

Milward ward was much better. The atmosphere was much calmer and I felt I was treated with dignity and respect the whole time. The accommodation here was same-sex. While the lights were turned off at night and it was easy to sleep, it was still very easy to find a nurse if something was wrong.

Overall, I was happy with my experience in this hospital - I was just extremely unhappy with how long the ambulance took to arrive.

What could be improved

I had to wait 35 minutes for an ambulance to come (no exaggeration - my friend called the ambulance at 09:30 and it arrived at 10:05) and I live down the road from the hospital. As my condition was a life or death situation, I don't think this is acceptable at all. While the care I received at the hospital was excellent and saved my life, I have been told that I would have died if I had arrived at the hospital twenty minutes later. I don't think it's at all acceptable for a patient to have to wait that length of time for what is supposed to be an emergency service, especially as they told the person who called the ambulance that the ambulance was on its way, but the next time she called they told her it hadn't left yet. We could have got to the hospital in three minutes in a taxi if they'd told us there was no ambulance available, and as it was a life or death situation, I do think they should have told my friend that the ambulance would be delayed. My condition got much worse in the 35 minutes we were waiting for the ambulance.

Anything else?

Clean, friendly environment and generally a good experience once I arrived at the hospital. All the hospital staff were extremely efficient, I am just very disappointed in the ambulance service. This is the second time I have been brought to this hospital by emergency ambulance and the first time the ambulance did arrive very quickly, I just wish it were a more consistent service.

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Responses

Response from The Royal London Hospital

Thank you for comments and feedback about your stay at The Royal London Hospital. In relation to your comment that Cambridge ward was a mixed sex ward, the Trust works hard to ensure the privacy and dignity of each patient is maintained while at the hospital. As you may be aware, we will soon be moving into our new hospital and would like to assure you that due consideration has been given to the design of the new wards to accommodate our single sex ward policy. I note that you were transferred to Milward ward which is a single sex ward.

I am afraid that we are unable to comment on the time that the ambulance took to arrive.

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