"Communicating with patients"

About: Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital

Anything else?

I attended N & N A&E on Wednesday, 20th, March, 2013, with my 12 year-old son who had fallen down a flight of stairs at school, and twisted his ankle. He was seen after about an hour by the triage nurse who decided that he needed a doctor to give an opinion as to whether or not he needed an X-ray. We were told to go to a waiting area. Unfortunately, we went to the wrong place because I did not know where the children's waiting area was. After about 25 minutes, I went to the X-ray department to ask for advice. We were told that we were in the wrong place, and were directed to the correct waiting area. The triage nurse came to the waiting area to apologize. I thought if she had the time to come and apologize to us, why didn't she ask someone to take us there in the first place. However, my main concern is at the waiting area. We waited for a further 2 hours to be seen by a doctor. The nurse who appeared to be in charge of the waiting area showed no concern whatsoever for the length of time that we and another mother and child had been waiting. Twice I went to find her, but she had stepped out of the area. Without any idea of how long we would be waiting, and as my son was getting hungry, we decided to leave. I found the nurse outside the waiting area who was chatting with two other nurses. I said that we had decided to leave. She said "OK." I said "Do you know my son's name?" She said "Yes." At no time did she seem interested in why we were leaving. We left without the having any advice from the doctor. In summary: the receptionist, 10 out of 10; the triage nurse, 8 out of 10; the nurse in the waiting area, 0 out of 10.

I am grateful for the opportunity to write this down. We often hear about the negative points of the NHS. I believe the NHS is a wonderful, if expensive, service. However, my experience and the experiences of friends and colleagues are often negative and sometimes downright terrifying and disgraceful. Indeed, it is sad that the good NHS workers are being let down by poor NHS workers. As a teacher myself I have experienced first hand OFSTED inspections and the unfair intrusion; poor support; and misguided assessments they provide. I always thought that assessments should be carried out by line managers.

Good luck with the inspections.

Story from NHS Choices

Do you have a similar story to tell? Tell your story & make a difference ››

Responses

Response from Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital

We are sorry to hear of the delay in seeing your son and have passed your comments to the Matron for A&E.