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To think 8 hrs in A&E is too long?

(69 Posts)
kansasmum Sun 01-Dec-13 20:44:50

My mum is 85 and fell yesterday and was taken to hospital by ambulance. I went with her and although we were seen by HCA within half an hour it was 3 hours before we saw a Dr and over 4 house before she was X-rayed. Finally after 8 hours she was transferred to the ward. After much nagging from me.
I haven't been to A&E much here since we moved back from the US but there was very little communication from any staff and I had to repeatedly ask staff to gain any information.

I know it was Saturday night and it was busy but I think keeping an 85 yr old lady in A&E for 8 hours is not on.
I used to be a registered nurse but haven't worked for 10 years but no-one used to wait for 8 hours when I worked in A&E.

AIBU to think this is not on? Or is this the norm these days?

hiddenhome Sun 01-Dec-13 20:51:25

This seems to be the norm these days. Because out of hours GP provision is so bad now, people are turning up at A&E with routine medical problems and it just clogs the system up and a great many departments aren't coping.

People are quite entitled too and many are incapable of judging what level of care they need, so trot off to hospital when they could quite easily leave it until their surgeries are open or even treat themselves.

Hope your mum feels better soon.

goodasitgets Sun 01-Dec-13 20:52:26

There may not have been a bed free for her to move to. Bed blockages are fairly common. Delays in a&e depends what is going on behind the scenes with very unwell patients

Sirzy Sun 01-Dec-13 20:54:28

It shouldn't happen, but at the same time if they are understaffed and/or very busy unfortunatly sometimes it will happen.

As long as she wasn't left in pain or her condition deteriorating.

Also, you say it was night time - that in itself probably caused an issue for x-ray as the x-ray departments at a lot of hospitals close/work on one radiographer over night.

Bowlersarm Sun 01-Dec-13 20:55:05

I think, rightly or wrongly, that seems to be the way it is now. Personally I would prepare for a very long wait if we find ourselves in A&E, and take anything less as a bonus.

hiddenhome Sun 01-Dec-13 20:55:36

The bed was probably taken up by that elderly woman in the newspapers who is currently refusing to leave hmm

3littlefrogs Sun 01-Dec-13 20:59:16

I am afraid that sounds about par for the course these days.

My advice would be to get her out of hospital as soon as you possibly can. Elderly patients are at the bottom of the pecking order when it comes to any sort of care. sad

VivaLeBeaver Sun 01-Dec-13 20:59:32

The HCA would have been a nurse I think. You have to be triaged by a nurse and a HCA can't do that.

Sadly they need to prioritise people and it may have been busier than normal. One big car accident can cause chaos if they get more patients than normal. It is shit to have to wait but I guess at the end of the day they felt a ? fracture could wait.

Hope she's better soon.

CheapBread Sun 01-Dec-13 21:03:48

Yanbu but unfortunately it is very much the norm these days and it's a f***ing shambles. I hope I never to need to visit a&e ever again, it's soul destroying. Sorry about your mam x

mer74 Sun 01-Dec-13 21:04:05

hiddenhome i agree, but it's not just a problem with OOH provision these days - we moved late last year and our new GP practice is a nightmare to get appointments for, esp for DH (DH works fulltime but 1.5hrs away from where we live, so needs to book a half day of annual leave to attend an appointment).

he's rarely been ill in all the years we've been married, but twice since we're with the new GP surgery he's had no end of problems getting a slot, multiple attempts - they run most of their non-emergency appointments as a "ring up at 7.30-8.30am" system.

in the end he couldn't get an appointment and it got so worse one weekend that i had no choice but to take him to A&E.

this was completely avoidable if the new GP had a bit more accessible, esp since DH had tried in two weeks to get an appointment. it didn't need to become an A&E urgent thing that weekend.

in fact this thread has just reminded me that DH planned to look into trying to get a GP surgery nearer his head office, rather than our local GP to home, i've heard you might be able to register at a surgery nearer your place of work if you can prove you're based far from home. so a good reminder.

mummytowillow Sun 01-Dec-13 21:57:57

YANBU My mum was left on a trolley with a dislocated shoulder for 8 hours. The nerves in her shoulder were damaged beyond repair as it wasn't put back in soon enough.

Her arm just dangles now and she can't use it sad

Its ruined her life as she is 72 and already had mobility issues.

Mouthfulofquiz Sun 01-Dec-13 22:53:29

There was probably no bed for her at the time - and although she is elderly, she may not have needed a bed on a ward more than another patient. 8hours is never ideal but with huge cuts to adult social care budgets there isn't a lot you can do about it. It's winter, there's huge pressure on beds, people unable to be discharged as there isn't provision of adequate packages of care and other folk visiting because they can't get a GP appointment or feel they can't wait for whatever reason.

hippo123 Sun 01-Dec-13 22:58:45

Sounds normal to me. At least she didn't have to pay for it.

BackforGood Sun 01-Dec-13 23:08:35

She was triaged very quickly, and the decision made that others were more urgent. It's frustrating, yes, but I think we have to trust the triage - I'd like to think that when it was a life threatening situation, then all efforts be directed towards that situation first. It's hardly just 'these days' though - I've always assumed there will be a wait of several hours in A&E indeed, have long suspected it's part of the plan to discourage people who don't need to, from going there.

CharCharGabor Sun 01-Dec-13 23:25:27

When my DD1 was in a and e in feb she was there for 7 hours. They were great, she had bloods, urine test, lumbar puncture etc etc. She was obv very ill and there wasn't a doubt she would need to be admitted but there wasn't a bed for her any sooner.

Sorry about your mum, I hope she gets the care she needs and recovers ok.

FarelyKnuts Sun 01-Dec-13 23:36:31

Compared to the system here in Ireland 8 hours is a dream. We regularly have patients on trolleys in a and e for anything up to 2 days because there are no beds available. And we pay for the privilege.

NorthernLurker Sun 01-Dec-13 23:43:31

It was Saturday night, it was busy, she wasn't critically ill so yes unfortunately she had to wait. Every time you 'nagged' the staff you took them off track from what they were doing and possibly delayed her tranfer and the care of other patients. Yes you should have had information but bottom line is A&E is under huge pressure. Ditto elderly and medical wards. Your mother got the care she needed. She just didn't get it instantly because she was not the only patient there. I wouldn't like my mum waiting 8 hours either - but that's how it is.

Grennie Sun 01-Dec-13 23:44:50

It has got much much worse here since David Cameron came in. I have personally noticed the difference. A and E went from a pretty quick throughput, to long waits.

Selks Sun 01-Dec-13 23:59:30

Well Cameron's govt removed the 4 hour maximum wait deadline didn't they? (I think). It's all gone to pot since then.

DeckTheHallsWithBonesAndSkully Mon 02-Dec-13 00:02:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Cerisier Mon 02-Dec-13 00:03:06

mummytowillow that is terrible- your poor mum sad

lisad123everybodydancenow Mon 02-Dec-13 00:11:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Rockinhippy Mon 02-Dec-13 00:15:06

That's terrible for your DM sad

but sadly I'm not surprised at all, especially on a saturday night, I've had a longer wait with my then 8 yr old who had broken & damaged tendons etc in her ankle, we didn't even get to sit in a separate area until after she'd seen a doctor, nor did the 6 other even younger DCs queuing with us, all just left to sit with the injured & blood spattered drunks, even a group of loud/foul mouth transvestites winding other people up on purpose - 3 hours for children to sit & witness all that - some of the little ones were clearly terrified sad

Grennie Mon 02-Dec-13 00:20:01

That is awful hippy. Our hospital has a separate A and E waiting room for children attending A and E.

Rockinhippy Mon 02-Dec-13 01:07:42

Thankfully we have a separate kids hospital now * Grennie* but there was a transition period of a couple of years when we didn't & it was pretty grim, you did get a separate curtained kiddies area once they had seen you & knew you needed treatment, X-rays etc, but the wait for that could still be way too long

Kids hospital is lovely though, but still wait way too long, last trip was 6 hours & that was a Thursday morning & the place was empty, turned out to be due to no staff experienced enough to read an X-ray confused

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