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to think there should be a vending machine in A&E?

(75 Posts)
princelypurpleparrot Sat 29-Sep-12 22:29:00

and not a good five minute walk away in a completely different part of the hospital?!

Was there today, unfortunately. Our wait wasn't too bad, thankfully, but I've been before and had to wait 3-4 hours. They've recently moved to a new building, and they have a water fountain, that's it. We had to leave the house in such a rush that I had no time to pack snacks etc and I was starving after an hour or so. Thankfully DH was there so I could go off on a search for food but if it'd been just me and DS we would have been stuck.

Surely, in a dept where a 4 hour wait is normal, there needs to be somewhere to buy a snack, at least???

TomDaleysTrunks Sat 29-Sep-12 22:31:12

Don't get me started on the lack of food facilities in hospitals. I work in a major hospital as a doctor and after 7pm there is only vending machines for food. For 5 English pounds you can get a reheated from frozen baked bean panini.

So YANBU, it's bloody ridiculous.

WorraLiberty Sat 29-Sep-12 22:31:17

But surely if you've got to wait 4hrs, popping to a different part of the hospital to use the vending machine won't make a difference?

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Sat 29-Sep-12 22:33:21

Maybe, as its accident and emergency, and theres probably a higher percentage of people needing surgery, they dont want to encourage people to eat?

altinkum Sat 29-Sep-12 22:33:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CaptainKirksNipples Sat 29-Sep-12 22:34:12

Yanbu. I had a 3 hour wait when I tore a ligament in my ankle but thought I'd broken it, had to use a vending machine that was miles away and I spent a fortune using the ice cold cans of coke to reduce swelling!

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Sat 29-Sep-12 22:34:44

Ha, beat you to it! grin wink

nancerama Sat 29-Sep-12 22:35:41

YANBU. FIL spent a whole year in hospital. We used to dash to see him straight from work (a 90 minute train journey). As a result we got through a lot of sandwiches and crisps in the first year of our marriage as there was never anything available for visitors to buy anywhere. Getting a drink of any sort was also an impossibility. Why do the on site shops have such limited opening hours?

YouSmegHead Sat 29-Sep-12 22:35:50

Took me 15 mins to get cash out for the car park when I got to it and had just clicked into the next pay band grr

YouSmegHead Sat 29-Sep-12 22:36:18 I understand especially as was dragging dd with me.

GrassIsntGreener Sat 29-Sep-12 22:36:37

Oh I agree there's a coffee/tea machine in ours but nothing for food. One of those ones that does flapjacks, muffins etc would be good to keep people going on the long waits.

Goldenjubilee10 Sat 29-Sep-12 22:38:06

I work in a busy outpatient clinic where long waits are normal. We are not allowed a vending machine for "health and safety" reasons.

Sirzy Sat 29-Sep-12 22:38:24

It's one of those things which comes under nice but not essential really.

I would rather have one on children's ward in the parents room than in A and r tbh

WorraLiberty Sat 29-Sep-12 22:38:58

Also most A&E's are full of angry drunks or stressed out parents.

I imagine the staff can do without the drunks kicking the machines and claiming they've lost their money....

And angry parents of PFB's complaining the machines contain chocolate, crisps and fizzy drinks.

Cos it's not like they've learnt to say no to their little darlings grin

OhlimpPricks Sat 29-Sep-12 22:39:09

Tomdaleystrunks. A lot of large organisations do not have a food shop/ vending machine. The are 200 people work in my office block. There is a machine for buying hot drinks. Everyone brings something in to eat, or walks 10 minutes to the local shops/takeaway.

Sirzy Sat 29-Sep-12 22:39:44

And another point the staff would end up being pestered with "it's eaten my money" "my food has got stuck" and "it's empty" type complaints

sausagesandwich34 Sat 29-Sep-12 22:42:09

there's a 24 hr Costa's next to paeds A&E in my local hospital

problem is there are no vending machines in A&E so you have to leave poorly DCs by themselves or not have anything to eat or drink (I didn't have anything to eat or drink

admitted at 2am, after arriving at 6pm and was offered a cheese sandwich and a cup of tea

they were the nicest things I've ever eaten/drunk!

squeakytoy Sat 29-Sep-12 22:42:37

I would have thought it was to stop people who were waiting to be seen from eating or drinking when they may need anaesthetic.

Lougle Sat 29-Sep-12 22:43:06

Winchester A&E has vending machines. With signs asking you to consult your Dr prior to eating.

princelypurpleparrot Sat 29-Sep-12 22:52:23

In the old A&E there was a little WHSmiths so you could buy sarnies, chocolate and magazines etc. I understand that there needs to be caution about eating because surgery may be necessary but what about family? I am awful when I'm hungry!

Lougle that seems to be the most sensible option - have a warning on them.

And don't get me started on trying to get change for the car park. I remember arriving at midnight on my own with DS and being told that they "probably wouldn't check the cars at this time". In an ideal world I'd have a purse full of pound coins but when an trip-to-A&E moment occurs then...

(And I work for the NHS, BTW, and think it is wonderful, but some things are so ridiculous!)

GruffVoiceDownTheChimney Sat 29-Sep-12 22:56:18

YABU - for so many reasons really:

It's normal to manage for 3-4 hours without food, especially if you are able to adequately hydrate yourself (unless you have low blood sugar or are diabetic etc etc, in which case you would be provided with food by the nursing staff at triage).

All patients attending A&E have a chance of needing to be nil by mouth, and some people would take food being so obviously and easily available as a suggestion to eat it, thereby delaying their own treatment, sometimes by hours.

Vending machines are a massive nuisance, need maintenance, restocking etc etc, and provide a target for thieves to try and break in to, or more dangerously rock, to get money or free food. The A&E staff do not need more problems to solve.

It's almost impossible to provide healthy snacks via vending machine, and providing high-sugar/salt/fat foods in an A&E seems a little at odds with the overall aim.

In general, you are there because of a nasty accident or because you are seriously ill, in both cases, food is unlikely to be your first issue. Unless you are an accompanying relative or a less urgent case, in which case you can go a bit further and avail yourself of the more extensive hospital facilities.

I do agree with PP who have had difficulty in finding adequate food in main hospitals out of hours etc, but that is a separate issue imo.

squeakytoy Sat 29-Sep-12 22:58:04

I also doubt anyone has ever literally "starved" by not having a drink for a few hours either.

GruffVoiceDownTheChimney Sat 29-Sep-12 22:58:05

Sorry, did a hundred other jobs while typing that so all been said.

Hope you're ok btw OP?

princelypurpleparrot Sat 29-Sep-12 23:15:29

I'm fine ta it was DS who needed the treatment (who is also fine, btw). Obviously none of us was going to literally starve to death, I know that! But, i do think, had I been on my own with DS, there would have been no chance of me getting a snack and although there is no medical reason for me needing to eat, I was really really hungry, to the point of getting shakey and not being able to put sentences together, and at that point i'm of no use to anybody unless I get food!

fluffydressinggown Sun 30-Sep-12 00:35:51

My local A&E has a vending machine with signs up reminding you to check with your doctor before you have a drink.

If you are alone in A&E (or with a child) it can be a very hard to leave the department to go and hunt for food/drink because you are scared you will miss your spot. It is hard enough to nip to the loo!

I have spent a lot of time in my local A&E and I have never seen anyone kick off over the vending machine. And actually food is often one of my thoughts as I wait (I think the longest I waited was 8 hours in total - I was hungry!)

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