"Appalling treatment of a patient with heart..."

About: St Mary's Hospital (London)

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I recently took my mother to the A&E departement at St Mary's Hospital as she was suffering from chest pains. She had recently suffered from a heart attack and I explained this to the receptionist . She was on the verge of fainting and could no keep her head up as tears were falling down her face because of the agony she was in. The receptionist at first did not notice me behind his desk as he was on his iphone. Once he noticed me and took all the details he told me to wait for the nurse to call us. As I sat back down I realised the severity of my mother's condition and could not sit there and see her in such pain. As I went back the man who I had originally spoken to was talking to someone else so I spoke to others behind the desk but they refused to serve me and told me to wait for the other receptionist. When he was done (again seeing him on his iphone) I asked him if he could get someone to look at my mother right away however he told me that I had to wait and that he had informed the nurse. I told him she was in a lot of pain and had to beg him to get him but he kept shouting at me and repeating "I have told the nurse, you'll have to wait". I was distraught knowing that my mother was in pain and was being refused care and to top it all off I was being shouted at by the receptionist who did not care. The nurse eventually called us in. This is absolutely disgraceful and I was treated with such lack on attention and respect. Considering that she had a serious history of heart problems she should have been classified as an emergency but was left to suffer until I had to beg for help. Furthermore, the nurse was not busy with another patient from the moment we walked in to A&E so there are no excuses for the unnecessary wait and the way we were treated. I am appalled and this was a very distressing experience as we were not treated like human beings.

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Response from St Mary's Hospital

Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust is very concerned to read of your experience in A & E at St Mary's and we sincerely apologise for the distress you have reported.

It is important that we are able to investigate this incident and identify staff involved. To enable us to do this can you kindly contact our PALS service pals@imperial.nhs.uk. Although senior staff have seen your comments we require your mother's details and the date and time you attended to facilitate an investigation and ensure that this does not happen again.

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