"Lack of respect and contact in East Surrey A&E"

About: East Surrey Hospital / Accident and emergency

(as the patient),

Arrived at Redhill hospital at 8.45pm on a Sunday evening recently. I had been suffering with suspected tonsillitis for a number of days and things had got so bad that i needed some antibiotics - my wife is a nurse so knew exactly what I needed. I was told that I would need to wait 30 minutes for the assesment nurse and then another 90 minutes for the doctor. I saw the assesment nurse after 50 minutes who didn't even check my throat and was unable to take my blood pressure (in front of me wife who was appalled).

After a further 90 miutes I was told that I was in the next 3 patients, after a further hour it was a very condescending administrator who told me that they had just got on shift and that I will be dealt with when possible but they were sure it would be in the next few people...An hour later I still hadn't been seen and the same administrator seemed totally disinterested in helping. Eventually I got called to see a doctor who also had just been on duty 10 minutes and noticed I had been waiting well over 4 hours. They took a quick look at me and then left leaving the nurse to give me half a course of penicillin!

In my opinion the assessment nurse behaved incompetently, the administrators were rude and the doctor unable to prescribe me the right dose of antibiotic.

Throughout the process we had to put up with a person in handcuffs and 2 incredibly unprofessional police officers who seemed to me be more interested in chatting to the others in the waiting room than controlling this person.

Having used the hospital for the birth of our children and various broken bones etc this was a truly shocking experience. One that could have been resolved in no time if the assessment nurse had quickly passed my case to a nurse who was able to prescribe antibiotics.

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Response from Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust

Thank you for taking the time to comment about your experience at East Surrey Hospital. We’re sorry that on this occasion your care didn't meet the high standards we require.

Your comments will be fed back to our emergency dept management team so they can address the issues raised. We have invested £14 million in new departments and two new wards and have dramatically cut waiting times in A&E. We have more consultants delivering hands-on care and it is very rare now that anyone waits over four hours in A&E.

The vast majority of our patients surveyed every month report receiving good to excellent care and we are always pleased to meet and listen to patients’ experiences in order to further improve the services we provide.

Our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) is available to listen to concerns, suggestions or queries and can help sort out problems quickly on your behalf. You can contact PALS by telephone on 01737 231958, email: pals@sash.nhs.uk, or by writing to: PALS, East Surrey Hospital, Canada Avenue, Redhill, Surrey RH1 5RH.