"My experience of nhs direct and huddersfield a&e"

About: Huddersfield Royal Infirmary / Accident and emergency

(as the patient),

I had suffered severe chest pains/tightness on two occasions..with a constant ache and tightness unbroken for six days. I phoned nhs direct so I could get the best advice on how to manage these symptoms until my referred appointment with the cardiologist at the same hospital 15 hours later...Given I had two severe episodes within the previous six days...and also considering my breathlesness and constant tightness and ache in chest...I was strongly advised by the gp on the phone at nhs direct to wait for the ambulance he had booked mid call to get urgent assessments.

The paramedics and ambulance were efficient if not as reassuring as my previous visit for similar symptoms twelve days previous....I was told to walk to the ambulance though uncomfortable, lightheaded and unsteady....Given the buccal pill whilst in the ambulance which helped the pain...

Upon arrival at hudds royal a&e I was placed as per normal in a cubicle...I always try to be understanding and polite and dont feel am more important than anyone else....However, after my first ecg and canular fitting by the staff nurse...and told whilst it busy...I was on the urgent list....then nothing for 45 minutes...I stated my pain had returned a little and I felt dreadful to the staff nurse...`oh ok` was the response....left again...after a further 50 minutes in the remote cubicle I was uncomfortable and tight in chest....I tried to stand up and leant against the work surface so I might appear in vision to any passer by......a further ten minutes and the staff nurse came back...took temperature and told me to put my gown on as I looked cold..I tried to say I still felt dreadfull and that I was lightheaded and in the same pain...but she went mid sentance....second ecg was 45 minutes after, I tried to say I was scared and couldnt muster the strength to lift the blanket on the bed as my arms felt so heavy and weak...`well you are urgent` was the reply and again out she went....I was cold scared and did not feel safe...I again made my way to the door as I was in danger of wetting myself and didnt want the humiliation.

I asked a passer by if I could use a toilet or have a wee in any way...The person responded with..`there is a toilet in reception`I begged her pardon..at which she stated she was only a passing radiologist...To her credit she went and eventually got the staff nurse to come in...In a very curt defensive way she asked what was wrong with the advice....to which I replied...`I feel ignored and uneasy on my feet as well as still tight and achy in the chest and arm`..she replied well I saw you standing so you can walk`...I replied `did you take any notice of my saying how I was feeling`...and assumed I was fit enough to undignify myself, never mind be physically capable of walking thru the public to the toilet ..She really was cold and started to say I must have been as managed to get up and shuffle two yards to ask....

I suggested we stop at that...and asked for my canular to be removed as I felt so upset and uncared for, as well as unsafe, that I would take my chances at home and die in bed rather than feel that isolated and scared there again no contact with anyone else though, she returned with a form having consulted the doctor who said I was next...and advised I stay or sign the form to say I was happy to go... to which I replied I wasnt at all confident I was being treated medically or professionally correctly...and was not at all happy to go.....but less happy to suffer any more of what I believe to be cold insincere attentions dressed up as care which despite my cries for help had been ignored toatally...and so would therefore not sign a form absolving hudds a&e of any blame should I perish once away from that situation...

She immediately and very roughly removed my canular and opened the exit door....A good way to reduce the busyness I stated...she just looked sulky....I asked and have a note of her name..

At no point was there any contact or intervention attempt from anyone.....I am home now and typing this whilst having struggled with the pain and cramp, and having had three sprays of my glyceril trinitrate...if I perish this will serve as a demonstration of the total and utter lack of empathy and understanding of a frightened man who has been close to death before...and who has alaways enjoyed the wonderful service and care of the nhs in the past....It may be fate..or I may be lucky...it shouldnt be down to either

11. 30ish admitted.....3. 50am end of visit...patronised..in pain and wishing I hadnt taken the very strong direct advice of an nhs direct doctor...Who was the only doctor I had any contact with........going now...coment or epitaph...how would I know which its likely to be.....grrrrr

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Response from Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust

We are extremely sorry to hear that you had such a distressing experience of our A & E Department and we would be really grateful if you would give us the opportunity to investigate the issues further. If you would like us to do this, please contact our Patient Advice and Complaints Service on 0800 013 0018, or email us at: patientadvice@cht.nhs.uk.