"7 Hour A&E visit."

About: Croydon University Hospital

Anything else?

My wife is in the early stages of pregnancy and developed severe cramping and bleeding. We called NHS direct and explained her condition and previous history etc to seek advice on what to do. The chap on the phone said he would pass details to a nurse who would then call us back. When the nurse called back a few moments later she was unaware for the first part of the conversation that my wife was pregnant despite my wife telling the chap from NHS direct this vital piece of information, he omitted to pass this onto the nurse who called us. That was issue one. We were then told by the nurse that it would be best to attend A&E (no surprises there) so off we trotted to A&E, parked up in the hospital car park and paid nearly £10 to park! That was issue two. We booked my wife in and sat down to wait......Two hours later we eventually get seen by a nurse. That was issue three. We were taken through and sat down in a cubicle whilst the nurse walked off and had a heated argument nearby with a colleague regarding the treatment of a previous patient, this was in full hearing and sight of us and other patients which we felt was extremely unprofessional, issue four.NThe nurse then came to assess my wife and whilst doing so complained to us about the colleague she had just been arguing with and also yawned on numerous occasions whilst making her assessment of my wife's conditions. We all get tired but openly yawning in a patients face is again extremely unprofessional. Issue five and six. The nurse took a urine sample and checked blood pressure and said that it may be a urine infection but does not explain the bleeding so we were sent out again to wait to see a doctor so off we go back into the waiting area. Another Two hours go by and we eventually get seen by a doctor who examined my wife's abdomen for a few moments and said he needed to speak to a 'specialist'. Off he went and made a phone call and returned shortly after to say that the 'specialist' wanted to see her right away but we would have to go wait again to be called. By this time it is gone midnight and we are both exhausted but off we go to wait again as as we walked out the doctor says the famous last words of "it won't be long but they will call you". So another two or three hours go by, during which we witness an alcoholic pretending to have a fit so he can get seen quicker (which he does), the receptionist/clerk having a heated disagreement of opinion with other people waiting in A&E and we also have to sit and put up with the stench coming off a homeless guy asleep at the back of waiting area (taking up a whole row of seats in the process) as no one from the hospital would ask him to leave. Issues seven, eight and nine. We eventually get called again and see someone else (midwife?) . She examines my wife, asks if bloods taken, no! The Dr we saw three hours ago then takes blood and we are told to come back at 9am for scan. Issue ten! Waste of time at A&E but scan was all clear.

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Response from Croydon Health Services NHS Trust

We are sorry to read your comments. What you describe is not what should have happened to your wife - we have clear pathways for pregnant women with unexpected bleeding who attend Urgent Care or A&E which did not appear to be followed on this occasion.

Please could you contact our PALS team as soon as possible with details of when you came in and what service you used (the Trust does not run the Urgent Care service) so we can find out exactly what happened and why.

We can also talk through the other issues you raised, but we want to apologise now for the fact that your wife was not seen as quickly as she should have been.

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