"Unacceptable"

About: Croydon University Hospital

Anything else?

I was sent to A& E at 10am on July 25th by a nurse in my department because although my BP was normal I had a pulse of 130 bpm. She told me I could be having a cardiac arrest, which was completely irresponsible and I should go to A & E immediately. I became completely traumatised (a close relative had died a few weeks before of a caridac arrest) thinking I would never see my children or husband again. By the time I staggered to A & E my pulse checked by a doctor was now 220bpm and he had to compress the artery in my neck to slow down my blood pressure. I was told I would need an ECG but every machine was either unavailable or broken and so I didn't have a test until 3 hours later whch was normal. I saw a Doctor who questioned me about my medical history. I had been to Thailand 7 months earlier and he decided I could have a blood clot.

I then had to wait in A & E until i could have a pulmonary ultrasound which meant a wait until the following day until 3pm in the afternoon. During this time I was kept in a small room in A & E, given a drip with glucose, even though it had been established I did not have diabetes as established by an earlier blood test. The room was dirty, there was blood on the wall and urine spills on the floor and the room opened out into the main

A & E department making me feel alone and vulnerable to the shoulting that occurred throughout the night.

I was kept on A & E for 30 hours. I was then told I might have to wait until the next day for my ultrasound. This was totally unacceptable and I said I was leaving. Suddenly I could have my ultrasound but it took me to get to breaking point for this to happen.

After this I was sent to MDU for observation until the next day. i was seen by a cardiologist who told me that if I had had an ECG immediatetly on entering A & E I would have been sent home straight away. And the diagnosis of a blood clot rediculous after 7 months. I was discharged 3 days later and told i would be sent an outpatient appointment for a 24 hour ECG. It is now March, 8 months later and I have had no appointment sent. On seeing my GP he sent me to Kings where I had a normal reading. My GP has never received any correspondence from CUH about any procedures I underwent in A & E. We are now considering moving to avoid ever going into CUH again.

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Responses

Response from Croydon Health Services NHS Trust

We’re very sorry to hear about your poor experience at A&E, which was clearly unacceptable. We have passed your comments on to the senior staff in the A&E department who will look into what happened when you came to us.

Since your visit to us last year we have made a number of changes to the way that our A&E department is organised. Our new Acute Medical Unit, which opened in November 2012, speeds up the flow of patients through A&E so that they can be admitted to a ward and provided with fast access to diagnostic treatment.

We have also developed a the Rapid Assessment, Triage and Treatment system to ensure that patients who come to A&E by ambulance are seen and treated more rapidly, and have created a new observation ward as part of our A&E department.

We hope that your health is better now, but if you do need our services again you should see an improvement.

We have been unable to identify you from the details that you have left on the Patient Opinion website, but if you wish to contact our PALS service to provide more information we will be able to look into your specific case in more depth, including why your GP did not receive the discharge information (which is usually sent electronically). This would really help us make sure that what happened to you does not happen again to you or to other patients. We can also arrange for staff to meet with you in person to talk to you about your experience if you would like them to.

You can contact PALS on 020 8401 3210 or through email at talktous@croydonhealth.nhs.uk

Response from Croydon University Hospital

We’re very sorry to hear about your poor experience at A&E, which was clearly unacceptable. We have passed your comments on to the senior staff in the A&E department who will look into what happened when you came to us.

Since your visit to us last year we have made a number of changes to the way that our A&E department is organised. Our new Acute Medical Unit, which opened in November 2012, speeds up the flow of patients through A&E so that they can be admitted to a ward and provided with fast access to diagnostic treatment.

We have also developed a the Rapid Assessment, Triage and Treatment system to ensure that patients who come to A&E by ambulance are seen and treated more rapidly, and have created a new observation ward as part of our A&E department.

We hope that, your health is better now, but if you do need our services again you should see an improvement.

We have been unable to identify you from the details that you have given here but if you wish to contact our PALS service to provide more information we will be able to look into your specific case in more depth, including why your GP did not receive the discharge information (which is usually sent electronically). This would really help us make sure that what happened to you does not happen again to you or to other patients. We can also arrange for staff to meet with you in person to talk to you about your experience if you would like them to.

You can contact PALS on 020 8401 3210 or you can email at talktous@croydonhealth.nhs.uk.

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