To complain about A&E not changing my dressing?

(271 Posts)
HarderToKidnap Sun 21-Apr-13 15:15:42

I have an open wound on my abdomen that has a small pack in it. Last Friday my consultant told me I would need to see someone on the Saturday to have the pack removed and changed. I was due to drive 2 hours to stay with my MIL for the weekend, to catch up with the all the inlaws and attend several family events.

On Friday morning after seeing my consultant I called my MILs GP to try and arrange to have the pack changed the following day. GP flatly refused to help or see me the next day but did tell me I could go to a walk-in at the local hospital.

Friday pm I drive 2 hours to MILs. Sat am I get up and head to local hospital. I find the Walk In boarded up and looking deserted. There is no other option to see anyone other than A&E. Receptionist/Triage nurse said they couldn't take the pack out. Just that. They couldn't, and wouldn't do it. It wasn't their dressing to change. Oh, and the walk in had been closed for 3 years!

There followed quite a long Mexican stand off during which she repeatedly told me they wouldn't change the dressing, and where I asked for reassurance that I would not get an infection or the pack would not adhere to the inside of the wound if I didn't get it changed until the Monday. She told me she couldn't assure me of that but that they couldn't do it. She phoned an OOH who wouldn't do it either. In the end I told her I would go to the toilet, remove pack myself and if I experienced a lot of pain/bleeding I would come back and be seen as an Emergency. She then said they would do it "just this once" and let me go through to a deserted waiting room, I was called 2 minutes later and dressing changed by a lovely nurse, back in car 10 minutes later.

Now, I'm a frontline HCP and bolshy with it, so I got seen - but what if you were a vulnerable person who had the temerity to be far from home when you need your dressing changed? Who thought if the receptionist was telling you they wouldn't do it, that you would wait however many days until you were back home, potentially causing problems? There was no "we can't do it, but if you go here/do this they will see you" just a very very flat "no". I'd like to complain to PALS, not about my treatment but about the lack of healthcare options there and the fact I had to throw a hissy fit to get medical treatment I needed. Other people wouldn't have thrown the hissy fit and wouldn't have got seen. WIBU to do so?

justabigdisco Sun 21-Apr-13 15:19:56

Was it:
a) an accident, or
b) an emergency?
No?
Then YWBU. The clue's in the name.

HarderToKidnap Sun 21-Apr-13 15:23:20

I'd gone there on the instruction of a local GP to find the service he'd told me to use had been closed for years, and I needed the dressing changed and there was no facility in the local area for me to have it done. A&E was my ONLY option unless I wanted the pack to become infected or adhere.

Pigsmummy Sun 21-Apr-13 15:23:24

YABU and the visit to a&e cost the NHS in the region of £250

CajaDeLaMemoria Sun 21-Apr-13 15:23:39

Of course you are.

It wasn't an accident or an emergency. Your dressing should have been changed by your own hospital/doctor. You should have had itcchanged on Friday if you needed to travel.

A&E staff are busy enough. The fact you forced them into breaking the rules to change your dressing is nothing to be proud of.

McNewPants2013 Sun 21-Apr-13 15:24:11

Why did you travel over 200 odd miles away when you knew you needed to have the pack changed.

I would have had it done Saturday morning then traveled up.

Euphemia Sun 21-Apr-13 15:24:30

YABU. You wouldn't ask the children's ward to look at your genital warts, so asking A&E to change your dressing was unreasonable. It's not within their remit.

UserError Sun 21-Apr-13 15:25:33

I don't think you were unreasonable. You tried to arrange having the dressings changed at the appropriate level (doctor, OOH) and the only option left was A&E. I agree that the clue is in the name, but when the rest of the system lets you down, sometimes it leaves A&E as the only realistic option. I can see why they'd be reluctant to change a dressing as they'd end up with lots of people going there for their own convenience but you explained the situation, they should have dealt with it with less fuss.

HarderToKidnap Sun 21-Apr-13 15:25:33

I did have it changed on Friday, it needed to be changed again on Sat. Which I was told by the local GP it could be, by the walk in. I wouldn't have driven down there if I knew A&E was only option.

What if I was elderly/vulnerable with daily dressings that needed to be changed and my family lived in the area in question? Could I not visit them?

Euphemia Sun 21-Apr-13 15:25:52

A&E was not your only option. You had the choice to stay at home and get the correct person to change your dressing.

PoppyWearer Sun 21-Apr-13 15:25:54

I had rather the opposite experience to you post-op.

I went to the GP for painkillers and she INSISTED on getting a nurse to change my dressings, without me asking. The nurse was on her lunch break but couldn't have been happier to do it and offer advice.

UserError Sun 21-Apr-13 15:26:13

I missed the bit about travelling, was that essential?

figwit Sun 21-Apr-13 15:26:18

You should have arranged something with your own GP- they may have arranged for a community nurse if it had to be changed on the Sat and you could have started the trip later.
YABU to go to a&e

Euphemia Sun 21-Apr-13 15:26:38

What if I was elderly/vulnerable with daily dressings that needed to be changed and my family lived in the area in question? Could I not visit them?

No.

EduCated Sun 21-Apr-13 15:27:00

YABU, the doctor advised you to visit a walk-in facility. You chose to travel all that distance without checking that there would be adequate facilities at the other end.

thistlelicker Sun 21-Apr-13 15:27:37

I'm sure your in laws would have understood you couldn't visit due to medical reasons and would have been happy to rearrange!!!! Ure selfish you potentially took up a vital nurse time with ure pathetic tantrum!!!! A a n e nurse treats accident and emergency! You are none of themat this moment in time!!!!!!angryangryangry Waiting Nhs resources

CajaDeLaMemoria Sun 21-Apr-13 15:27:57

Well then you need to complain to the doctor who gave you incorrect information.

If you lived in the area, arrangements would have been made in the week for a nurse to visit, or you to go to hospital, and have a prearranged appointment for it to be changed. That didn't happen because you don't live there.

YABU because you travelled, knowing it needed changing, and then demanded A&E change it. The doctor is the only person whodid wrong here, apart from you.

HarderToKidnap Sun 21-Apr-13 15:28:47

He advised me there was a walk in facility at the hospital in question. It wasn't til I actually arrived (200 miles from home) that it became clear that it wasn't open (and hasn't been for years)

thistlelicker Sun 21-Apr-13 15:28:50

Really ure consultant shud have arranged district nurse for adequate dressing change

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Sun 21-Apr-13 15:30:46

I don't think you were being unreasonable. You didn't try A&E as your first option! You tried the GP, who told you to sod off. You tried to find a walk in centre, it was shut down. The out of hours place also refused to do it when phoned by the A&E receptionist!

What were you supposed to do at that point? Realistically? With a large wound that needs regular changing and the risk of infection if it's left on for days?

I think it would not be unreasonable to complain.

here

thistlelicker Sun 21-Apr-13 15:30:55

Not all GPS know what's appending 200 miles away!

Euphemia Sun 21-Apr-13 15:31:08

So the GP gave you incorrect information; that doesn't excuse your non-essential trip to A&E.

HarderToKidnap Sun 21-Apr-13 15:31:18

I didn't demand A&E change it, btw. I would have been happy to go anywhere, see anyone, wait for appt later that day, whatever. But there were no options offered. Just "go away". Which, if I had, could have caused me serious problems!

Euphemia Sun 21-Apr-13 15:32:28

In your shoes, I would not have travelled hundreds of miles. I'd have stayed at home until I was better.

HarderToKidnap Sun 21-Apr-13 15:32:29

The GP was a LOCAL GP to the area I was visiting. It was my MILS GP who I called first to try and arrange something through them.

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