Review of Accident & Emergency, written by a patient
14th September 2020
Very disappointed with the lack of organization in A&E at the moment as well as lack of communication between the hospital and walk-in centres/111 advice. (I am aware this is not entirely the hospitals fault).
I have had a possible ear infection for over 2 weeks now. I first didn't seek treatment as I knew it would be hard to get an appointment anywhere due to the pandemic. On Sunday 13/9, I went to my local walk in centre (South Hornchurch)that was listed as open on the NHS website, only to find it was closed and the nearest one was at Harold Wood. I called 111 and spoke to a doctor who advised me to seek medical attention within the next 2 hours and booked me an appt. at Harold Wood. I got to Harold Wood to be told they don't have appts., it was a 3 hour wait and I would be better going to Queens A&E. (Again I understand that this is not the fault of Queens but I was already fed up of being pushed around by this point)
I arrived at A&E to find we had to queue outside the door in the direct, hot sunlight. I waited around 30 mins, a nurse came out to take my details, I asked if I could go to the Urgent Care Centre located in Team 1 as I had been there before and did not have an 'emergency' as such and was told it would likely be a 3 hour wait just for triage before I could go there but she would find out the waiting time. However she did not come back within the next 20 mins and by this time I had a bad headache and was feeling sick from sitting in the sunlight for so long. I left without treatment as the longer I was sitting there, the worse I was feeling.
I understand things have changed due to coronavirus, but as this is likely to be an ongoing issue, there should be a better system in place than leaving sick patients outside in extreme weather conditions, which are likely to make them worse.
Move waiting areas inside the hospital or at the very least not in the direct sunlight. Provide more seating outside for patients that are waiting for A&E.
Communicate better with other healthcare providers to give patients accurate and timely information.