"Do you like being shouted at while in pain?"

About: Barnet Hospital

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I was taken to the Fracture Clinic by the London Ambulance Service. (I could neither stand nor walk.) The nurse in charge became very angry with the LAS staff, saying that the clinic was closed and no longer taking 'walk-ins'. Then she started to shout at *me* for just sitting in front of her in a wheel chair, and blaming me for being taken to this place. I was in extreme pain (I think two tendons ruptured in my left knee), and I couldn't understand why she was having it out with me since I had no say at all where I was taken. In fact, I wanted to be taken to the Royal Free, not Barnet, as I had two previous bad experiences there. As for the clinic being closed, it was 2pm on a Friday. By 4pm, when my wife arrived to collect me, there were nurses and consultants standing around and chatting. Only two patients were waiting. X-ray machines, etc., were just sitting there idle. An excellent use of resources.

Horrible place. And this is the third terrible experience I've had there. A few years ago, my son had a torsioned testicle, and it took so long to get through A&E that by the time he got to surgery, the testicle needed to be removed. The triage nurse, and virtually everyone else except a consultant pediatric urologist, didn't recognise the symptoms of a common problem that afflicts male adolescents. This is what I call excellent clinical training in practice. Oh, and then there was the time when no one would bother to help me walk, or help me out of a wheelchair when I couldn't even stand.

Problems like these are systemic, and this organisation requires some fundamental organisational and cultural improvement. Perhaps the stress of the job, and the quality of leadership up and down the organisation, creates conditions like these. It's hard to believe that so many staff could behave so rudely and incompetently without some larger systemic problem(s) being responsible for this.

If you have a choice, then go elsewhere. If you don't have a choice, then be prepared to be treated like a doormat.

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Responses

Response from Barnet Hospital

As an organisation we are committed from learning from specific issues and from any mistakes we have made. Hearing about where we can do better helps us to pinpoint where exactly to make improvements to the service we provide. We apologise that you had a porr experience in the fracture clinic and have forwarded your comments to the Matron responsible for the service. Your comments with regard to your Accident and Emergency experience a few years ago has also been passed onto the Matron responsible for the emergency services.

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