"Rude Staff, Becoming ill and timewasting"

About: Queen Elizabeth Hospital (Gateshead)

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On Thursday 4th at 1.30am, I took my boyfriend to A&E as he was unwell. I was perfectly fine and healthy. We had to wait 3 and a half hours in the waiting room to be seen by someone, previous to arriving at hospital he'd rang them explained the situation and they told him to get there ASAP within the hour. We arrived 20 minutes after that phone call. And that phone call meant nothing to them and we had to wait, bearing in mine there was only 2 other patients waiting to be seen we still had to wait the entire 3.5 hours. However there was numerous of staff including nurses walking around wasting time chatting and laughing with the receptionist. The receptionist herself was very rude and I stood at the reception desk for 6 minutes waiting for her to acknowledge me even though she was sitting on the phone looking straight at me. As I waited for her phone call to finish, I overheard most of what she was saying this including what she had for dinner and what the latest gossip had been that day in the hospital/her private life. I asked her a simple question about the car park and her unintelligent response was "ee I don't know, sorry"... and she continues with her call.

My boyfriend was in that much pain we had to take him to another hospital instead (RVI) in Newcastle, as he still hadn't been seen. Who seen him within 9 minutes from arriving and is a much better hospital and have a lot more professional staff. I stayed in the car as I had spent the last of my change on parking at the useless Queen Elizabeth.

We were even more disappointed later that day when I became severely poorly, within 4 hours of leaving the QE hospital I was chucking up everything I had ate, I had the worst headache i've ever experienced, I slept for 21 hours straight, could no longer eat or drink, was shivering, severe stomach pains. I couldn't of caught it from my unwell boyfriend as he had nothing that I was experiencing and he wasn't ill in any form or shape the same way.

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Response from Queen Elizabeth Hospital

Thank you for providing feedback on your recent visit to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. We are sorry that you felt you and your partner had a considerable wait in the department before being seen. It may be helpful to explain that there are 2 different areas in A/E. One area deals with urgent and acutely unwell patients who arrive by ambulance and the other area deals with less urgent patients. Sometimes it may appear that the department is quiet however staff may be busy dealing with patients who require more urgent attention. We were also disappointed to read your comments regarding the attitude of the receptionist in the department and agree that this is unacceptable. This is not what we would expect from a member of Trust staff and your comments will be forwarded to the appropriate manager.

We take any negative feedback seriously and we use comments such as yours to remind our staff of the importance of customer care. However, in order for us to fully investigate the issues you have mentioned and identify the reception area in question we would need you to raise this with us directly. If you would like to do this please contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on 0800 953 0667.

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