"Waiting in a corridor for admission to A&E"

About: Arrowe Park Hospital / Accident and emergency North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust

(as a relative),

At the end of December my 85 year old Mother-in-law was taken by ambulance to A&E at Arrowe Park Hospital in Wirral suffering from severe breathing problems.

When we arrived she was placed in a queue in the corridor that circles around the A&E department along with approx 10 other patients who had all come in by ambulance. It was explained to us that this was a new system and all patients would be seen first by a staff nurse and then prioritised to which bay they will go to.

There was only one nurse to assess all the patients and although she worked hard and diligently the system was very slow. My mother-in-law was quite distressed at waiting in a corridor and other patients in the queue also seemed upset (the lady behind us in the queue had no family with her and was crying and saying she had pain in her arm and although the ambulance man was very attentive she was still upset).

Whist we were waiting, all the ambulance staff with the patients had to also wait to “hand over” their patients to the nurse and this seemed a waste of their time as they could have been getting the ambulances ready to go back on the road.

We had previously been admitted through A&E in early November and at that time the ambulance staff had taken my Mother-in-law straight to a bay and “handed over” straight away to a hospital staff member. The system at that time was much smoother and appeared to be not as much of a time waste to the staff involved. The new system appears to waste ambulance staff time and also it is very distressing for patients to be waiting in a queue in a corridor.

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Response from North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust

Thank you for your comments regarding your experience with North West Ambulance Service. I am very sorry to hear that despite the professional way in which the ambulance staff treated your mother-in-law, she was still caused some extra distress by her wait for assessment at Arrowe Park Hospital. The way the system works in Arrowe Park Hospital is that patients are assessed and prioritised due to their medical condition and unfortunately this may mean patients with less serious medical conditions having to wait longer for assessment. We are constantly working with Arrowe Park Hospital to try and improve the service for our patients.

If you still have any concerns about the way your mother-in-law was treated by North West Ambulance Service, please contact the Making Experiences Count Team at the North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust who will be happy to look into your concerns and provide a response. The contact details are as follows: The, Making Experiences Count Team, North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust, telephone 0345 112 6500 or patientexperience@nwas.nhs.uk.

I do hope your mother-in-law is now feeling better and thank you again for sharing your experience.

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