"Recent Experience of having to attend Tameside Hospital Casualty and Medical Assessment Unit"
About: Tameside General Hospital / Accident and emergency Tameside General Hospital Accident and emergency Ashton Under Lyne OL6 9RW
Posted by maggiemhoo (as ),
I am a severe Asthmatic and due to a recent Virus that had lingered for several weeks, I had to attend Tameside Hospital because my breathing had deteriorated and I knew it was becoming more and more difficult as the Inhaler was not easing my symptoms. I needed Nebulizer Treatment.
I went by Taxi to A & E in the early afternoon and was seen by the Triage quite quickly and then given Nebulizer Treatments X2. The Doctor at Casualty felt that my chest was quite congested. He arranged for me to be admitted to the Medical Assessment Unit at the Tameside Hartshead building north entrance.
I was brought to a waiting room with other patients and visitors who had all been there several hours.
Patients who were waiting to be allocated a Bed. Patients with all sorts of ailments, on drips. I was brought to the MAU in the evening and sat in this waiting room (sit out area) in a chair until the early hours of the next morning. I was ill, exhausted and no one came to check if any of the patients were OK. It was like a third world country, we were not offered a hot drink in all the time we were waiting.
I eventually got on the ward, well more a side room, and was given a day couch to sleep on, it was not a bed, it was very uncomfortable because it was not meant for the purpose of sleeping several hours. I could not sleep anyway because it was hard and uncomfortable.
I saw the Doctor in the morning, they proceeded to ask me questions: Did I smoke NO, I tried to give them some history but they kept stopping me, I told them that I had Asthma but also was diagnosed with Aspergillis - affected by air bourn spores. They retorted: "I know what it is you don’t need to tell me". I was quite exasperated with their attitude. They clearly found it demeaning to be told by a mere patient what they felt their problems were and how they manifested themselves.
Whilst on the MAU it was like being a 'fly on the wall' listening to the various conversations and interactions with staff and patients on the ward.
One young man attached to a drip wanted to go off the ward for some fresh air. It was extremely warm on the ward, a Staff Member proceeded to detach him from the Drip Tripod, so he could go outside. She told him "Don't be long”, no doubt she had her reasons, to me it was like she was talking to a child.
Another Member of Staff seemed more concerned that a new valve would need to be used to attach him back to the Tripod. They commented to their colleague that it was wasteful, rather than seeing it meant far more for the patient's well-being to have some fresh air. It seems a plastic valve is far more important in monetary terms.
I could go on and on and on but it just saddens me that it seemed to me some of the staff I saw, in authority and power, felt they could lord that over others. The Doctor, like any other Doctor, was there for patients, not their own ego. Due to my experience, I felt that the staff I came into contact with viewed patients as captives and just think they can just sit in one place for 24 hours a day.
From all the experiences I've had with hospitals, I just feel like often staff feel they have every right to treat you as they wish, speak to you in a condescending manner, dictate if you can have a relative with your or not, prevent you from having an adult discussion on equal terms, and fail to ensure you have even basic sustenance, like a drink.
I despair because in my opinion, no matter how many inquiries such as Mid Staffordshire Hospital, nothing changes. Things would improve if there is an open, honest appraisal from all patients - all patients should be giving feedback. It is only then that the staff will realise how it feels for patients, how vulnerable they are.
I should have stayed 2 - 3 days but it was so awful that I felt it would be safer and better for me to recover at home. I only needed a little help a nebulizer. I should surely be able to access that at a walk in service. It is not too difficult to achieve.