About: Medway Maritime Hospital Medway Maritime Hospital Gillingham ME7 5NY
What I liked
The lovely ambulance staff who stayed with me when they took me into A&E. Not that they had a choice - I was left on the ambulance trolley in a thoroughfare in the middle of A&E, being wheeled this way and that, because despite expecting us they had nowhere to put me. One of the ambulance ladies said that it was quiet - I dread to think what a busy period must be like.
What could be improved
I appreciate that a bed cannot always be available, but not being left on the ambulance trolley would have been a better state. I answered numerous questions in the ambulance, which were noted down, only for a member of staff to come over and ask what was wrong a few minutes after arrival. She suggested that I have an injection; I said no, I can't have that because I am pregnant. 'Oh yeah!' she said, then wandered off. Another member of staff came over and asked again what was wrong. He suggested a treatment and I asked whether that was okay because I was pregnant. He seemed unsure and had to go away to check. What exactly is the point of completng the form in the ambulance if no one takes any notice of it when you arrive? Oh, and the floor was filfthy; there was an empty cubicle, but it was covered in someone's blood, the curtain open for all to see. My husband arrived first, and he said that the A&E receptionist was very rude, making him feel as though he was being a nuisance. After being given steroids I was left in the chaotic waiting room, where no one knew where they were supposed to queue up because there is no proper signage. I was seen by a nurse who again did not read the notes and said 'it's lovely to see you, but why are you here if you had a doctor's appt booked?' Errr, because had you bothered to read my notes, you would have seen that I couldn't wait that long as my throat had started to swell! She sent me home with some low dose tablets - after saying 'oh well, I get paid loads whether you are here or not' - and guess what? - the symptom re-occurred within 24 hours. NICE guidelines recommend an observation period of 2-24 hours for this reason! I waited to see my doctor, despite NHS telling my husband to call an ambulance - there was no way I was going back there on a Saturday night. I don't want to go back there, ever.
I am pretty sure there are hospitals in third world countries that have got better cleanliness and procedures than Medway Maritime, and quite frankly, I would rather take my chances in Africa than ever go back there - and yes I am a British national and have been a tax payer my entire adult life. As soon as I have a bit more money in my pocket I am going to pay into a private medical scheme.