"Shocked and appallled"

About: Chelsea & Westminster Hospital

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I came into accident and emergency with severe chest pain. The staff in the main reception ignored me for a while before going to assist the person standing behind me in the que before they finally noticed me. When I got to A&E the staff on reception there were very polite and helpful and told me to wait to speak to the nurse. When I did get to speak to the nurse she was very rude and abrupt and her lack of compassion and costumer service skills shocked me. She cut me off mid sentence after I was explaining what was wrong and just told me to tell the doctor. I understand she was busy and that may be an excuse but certainly not a reason. When I am at work I am never allowed to be rude to clients even if I am rushed. She made me feel like I was wasting her time and if it weren't for the pain I was in, I would have left there and then. After her unecessary rude, dismissive attitude I was left in agony for nearly 3 hours to see a doctor, during which time I asked for pain relief which I was not given. I began to feel dizzy as I'd not yet eaten and was still in pain. I asked the same nurse how long it would be before I was called and if I had time to get food from the shop opposite (yes I was in pain but seen as they were not giving me any painkillers or seeing me despite asking, I knew it would have to be me to sort out my dizzy spell and the machine in the wating area was not working properly). She was bothered by my question as if I had asked her to get me food and told me she was busy (I only approached her because the lady at reception said she was the one to ask) and she had no one with her at the time. She didn't care and told me to do what I want and if i missed my name they would strike me off the list and I would have been waiting in vain. When I repeated I was feeling dizzy she shrugged. She said she would not listen for my name

I managed to get food and eat before being seen. Was still in pain and not given any pain relief.

When I was seen, the doctor did not and rather just tried to rush me out so that they could see the next patient. I was not given an x-ray or any pain relief but rather told there was a tesco across the road that sold paracetamol. I felt very patronised as if I was a nuisance hypochondriac patient who comes there all the time (this is the first and last time I have ever been here) and the supposed doctor just said my lungs were sore from me coughing despite me not having a cough at all. He said he didn't want to waste time with an x- ray and told me to go home. Without any real explanation or help. He diagnosed me within 10 minutes after a nearly 3 hour wait.

This morning I was rushed to a different hospital where I was immediately seen, thoroughly tested and properly diagnosed and treated. I was also given pain relief and medication which has relieved the pain and made breathing easier. All of the staff were polite here and I now know what was wrong. I have never been treated how I was yesterday I am appalled!

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Response from Chelsea & Westminster Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to post your comments. We are very sorry to read of your unsatisfactory experience at Chelsea and Westminster Emergency Department, of which we would like to apologise for. We take on board your comments and feel it would be beneficial to discuss your concerns, and to investigate the matter further. Please contact Sian Nelson, PALS Manager on 0203 315 8548 Kind regards, Hilary Donnellan Deputy Clinical Nurse Manager, Accident and Emergency Department.

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