I was in A&E with what is now suspected to be diverticulitis. It felt disorganised in the extreme.
I was taken straight through without triage and put directly on a bed because I was in agonising pain. We only saw a nurse an hour and a half after i was given a bed to take blood pressure and pain killers. I had to ask for a urine sample pot because i knew they would eventually require one. Another 30 minutes passed and the same nurse came back to give me a blood test. We didn’t see a doctor for 3 hours (I was crying in pain) and only got one to my bedside because my boyfriend who had had enough, went up and demanded it from the nurses in no uncertain terms. He was so strident we had a doctor there in two minutes.
Some doctors were standing around telling jokes. The one that horrified me the most was that one doctor and one nurse were laughing about a patient because he only had one leg. I was disgusted.
A nurse said ‘I was laughing so hard seeing that stump I had to leave the room.’ A doctor laughing about a patient’s unfortunate physical condition in A&E where they are supposed to take care of you, and there are only curtains for a divide and everyone can hear everything? I just hope that man had been discharged by that point in time. Poor guy. He came into A&E for whatever his problem was and had the doctors and nurses mock and ridicule him.
In the cubicle to my left was a girl who couldn’t have been more than 20 years old who was incredibly ill. She continuously vomited for 2 hours and not one person came to see her other than a nurse to give her bowls to throw up in. She arrived at around the same time we did and as far as I saw no one even took her blood pressure or took a blood or urine sample for the first 2 hours we were there. No one put her on an IV to give her any fluids (she must have been dehydrated).
In the cubicle to my right there was a man who had sever haemorrhoidal problems (there is no privacy because only curtains divide). The doctor spoke little english, it seemed. The poor guy had to describe his symptoms six times before the doctor understood what was going on.
I have been to Kingston A&E before. The first time they were ok (with the exception of giving me antibiotics for an infection with a known resistance, I had to get a private doctor who gave me the appropriate drugs a few days later).