"The person who spent an hour locating a working..."

About: University College Hospital

What I liked

The person who spent an hour locating a working ECG machine was pleasant

What could be improved

I have Marfan's Syndrome and have had aortic root and valve surgery. One of the most serious life threatening complications of this condition is an aortic dissection. If I suspect this is happening my instructions are clear - go to A&E immediately. I carry a card about this risk. Yesterday I experienced symptoms which were serious enough for me to call an ambulance and I was taken to UCH A&E. After waiting for some time I was put into a shared cubicle at 6pm and had my BP taken. I was then left alone until 7.30pm, when I had an ECG. Another hour passed then a female registrar took bloods at 8.30pm. 15 minutes later I had a chest xray. Apart from occasional BP I was then left unattended for another two hours when at 10.45pm I was seen by another registrar. Their opinion was that I was not having a dissection. Despite repeated requests, they refused to do any further tests to confirm their diagnosis, or to call a cardiologist or any other specialist. Refusing me any further treatment they said they would contact the cardiology department and ask them to send me an appointment for a CT scan. No follow up was arranged, no medication or prescription given and there was no further discussion. They then discharged me at 11pm. I am disabled with balance and mobility problems and was still feeling dizzy and in great pain. A passing taxi driver took me home and helped me to my front door. I have been immobile with pain and shortness of breath since. The arrogance and disdain of the registrar was truly frightening. I was knowledgeable about my condition, I was lucid and I was asking questions and he couldn't wait to get rid of me. I am still trembling at this experience and I have nowhere else to go. My family is horrified.

Anything else?

I urge any Marfans patient in an emergency situation to avoid this A&E unit at any cost, and any Marfans or cardiac specialist at this disgrace of a hospital to put your house in order.

Story from NHS Choices

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Responses

Response from University College Hospital

I am sorry to read that you have not been happy with the advice and experience at our Emergency Department. I would like to investigate your concerns and would urge you to contact our PALS team with your details so that we can arrange this. We always look to improve the service we provide to patients so welcome your feedback. PALS can be contacted Monday - Friday 9am - 4pm on 020 3447 3042 ( 24hr answering machine) or by email to pals@uclh.nhs.uk

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