"Father and son both in A&E"

About: Royal Free Hospital / Accident and emergency

(as the patient),

I was waiting to go with my elder son to a football match.

He was up at the Royal Free hospital getting some jabs before a trip to Asia. I took a call from the hospital, asking me to confirm I was his Dad. Then a heart-stopping moment when they said there had been an accident and he had been taken to A&E. He had slipped and cut his head badly on a hard floor.

I rushed up to the hospital. Unfortunately I have a habit of fainting in hospitals and as I arrived I was telling myself I had to be strong for my son, and not faint. Unfortunately the moment I saw him, hooked up to a drip, pale as a sheet, his head cut, I knew I was onto a loser. I said to the doctor I needed to sit down.

But before I reached a chair I crashed onto the bed next to his. We were in the blue tone zone for emergencies. Four beds - half of them taken by one family!

The nurse looking after my son was suddenly looking after me and I could vaguely hear my son asking what had happened to me? Apparently my pulse went really low so they insisted on getting in a heart specialist. I tried to explain I was just squeamish and had often fainted before - I fainted there when my wife had an amniocentesis once - but they insisted I had all sorts of checks.

We ended up both being kept in for observation, and the care was absolutely fantastic.

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Response from Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you Alastair for taking the time to share your experiences of the Royal Free. We are delighted that you were pleased with the care you and your son received at our hospital.

Thank you once again for your feedback.