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To think what on earth would possess someone to turn up to an A&E to ask for a COVID test?

(88 Posts)
crosser62 Wed 16-Sep-20 06:45:37

Bolton hospital have tweeted that over 100 people have attended A&E to request a COVID test in recent days.
They have politely asked that “people think of others” before making the decision to go to a very busy A&E to ask for a test.
To only attend if they have had an accident or have a life threatening injury or illness.
They also say where you can get advice re testing.
It beggars belief.
Having had first hand experiences of people demanding ambulances for the most outrageous things, I’m not surprised but for the love of all that is sensible, why do people do this?
This is just Bolton, are people turning up to A&E countrywide asking for tests?
The poor staff on triage will have their share of abusive patients AND relatives tripled because of this, telling people that they can’t have what they demand.
Jeez, the world has gone mad.
And I do not accept that it’s ok to tip up at an accident and emergency department because they can’t get testing anywhere else, this is blatantly not the right thing to do.

OP’s posts: |
windyautumn Wed 16-Sep-20 06:47:06

It's been happening all week at my hospital too (no where near Bolton). We've had to get enhanced security to police A&E and the trust swabbing area as people are getting really aggressive.

Aroundtheworldin80moves Wed 16-Sep-20 06:47:47

Desperation. Fear. Confusion. And in some cases, entitlement.

Sirzy Wed 16-Sep-20 06:48:52

Alder Hey have put out a message saying the same.

It’s madness. I get that people are struggling to get tests and the system is broken but that doesn’t justify just appearing at A and E unless you are actually A and E ill

Pickpick101 Wed 16-Sep-20 06:51:25

Aroundtheworldin80moves

Desperation. Fear. Confusion. And in some cases, entitlement.

And in other cases stupidity.

Splendidseptember Wed 16-Sep-20 06:55:49

I wouldn't but for instance I have sick relative who thinks she has it, spent all day on the phone trying to book a test, then someone told her about a drive in center, she got in car and drove to it, not far but 10 miles not feeling well6, there and 10 back.. She said very quiet but absolutely not allowed to have the test because she had not booked.

So she's back home ill.
She won't go to a and e unless she deteriorates further but... I can imagine many many people like her who feel more scared and desperate, can't talk to anyone, can't get advise, certainly can't get a test! Will go to a and e!!

Brace UK the real crisis it seems is about to hit us. 🤷‍♂️

AnyFucker Wed 16-Sep-20 06:56:13

The same reason that people go to A and E because of, an actual example this week, flat feet

caughtalightsneeze Wed 16-Sep-20 06:56:21

It's ridiculous.

Frankly I can't get my head around anyone voluntarily going to A&E unless it was a dire emergency. I've only had to go to A&E a few times, and all were things that couldn't wait (broken bones or possibility that symptoms were for something life threatening). Have never had a wait of less than four hours. A friend's father recently waited 18 hours to be seen in A&E having had a stroke, so he was one of the higher priority patients. Anyone turning up for something minor would easily have been waiting 24 hours or more (I have been keeping an eye on the statistics locally).

Hours and hours in an uncomfortable seat, with not even water available never mind food. Why would anyone even want to do that? And yet they do.

SteeperThanHell Wed 16-Sep-20 06:56:37

Lack of access to to testing and lack of understanding of where tests are available.

Children are being sent home with symptoms and without a negative test result they can’t go back. Whole households are having to self-isolate.

People are desperate and can’t afford time off work.

Splendidseptember Wed 16-Sep-20 06:57:12

People are being corralled into a dead end, there is no help for them, don't blame them for making silly descion when they feel there is no where else Togo

ThatDamnScientist Wed 16-Sep-20 06:58:41

Back in March I was breathless, a cough and I'm asthmatic - my gp referred me to 111 (I'd phoned to ask for increased asthma meds as I thought that was what was going on with me) as he was concerned. 111/OOH were going to see me until I spoke to a dr who sent me to A and E (I wasn't blue at the lips got there under my own steam), he wanted me tested for covid among other things (he was concerned because of my asthma) (A and E wouldn't see me). Maybe some are being referred there? (Not saying all are obviously).

NecklessMumster Wed 16-Sep-20 07:01:28

My mum used to work in a and e, she told me that a man came in once asking for sanitary towels for his wife

mysteryfairy Wed 16-Sep-20 07:01:50

www.theguardian.com/world/2020/sep/15/uk-families-having-to-hack-system-to-get-coronavirus-test

@Splendidseptember the postcode hack described may help your relative to get a QR code so she can access the local testing centre

GoneAndDoneItAgainAgain Wed 16-Sep-20 07:02:39

I think often people turn up to A and E when they’re desperate as all other services have been cut. Turning up for a CV test does seem daft but if people aren’t going to get paid unless they go to work, are told their child can’t attend school unless tested and there don’t seem to be tests available elsewhere then people may try A and E. I’m not saying it’s right but it’s understandable in some circumstances.

I attended A and E at Easter a couple of years ago after I got an infected tooth. I’d called every dentist within 50 miles and none could see me and Dentaline couldn’t arrange anything for 48 hours. I ended up in A and E as dh insisted I go after I also got a temperature and started vomiting. It was lucky he did really as I’d developed septicaemia.

bobbiester Wed 16-Sep-20 07:03:35

Inexcusable for people who are asymptomatic or just have mild symptoms.

More understandable for people with serious symptoms as it IS a life threatening illness for many people.

funnylittlefloozie Wed 16-Sep-20 07:06:42

Certain elements of our society have a vested interest in reminding us incessantly that our NHS is failing, struggling, unfit for purpose. Although this is superficially a story about stupid people, it has an undertone of 'hospitals cant cope'.

caughtalightsneeze Wed 16-Sep-20 07:11:58

Depending on where you are in the UK, the health service really isn't coping, and wasn't even before Covid.

I often see posters here saying that it's all scare mongering because the Tories want to scare people into believing that privatisation is best, and that we shouldn't give it publicity because it's playing into their hands. But when you are actually the patient facing eg a waiting list that is years long rather than months, or an A&E wait that is days rather than hours, you want to scream from the rooftops that it's a disgrace.

Splendidseptember Wed 16-Sep-20 07:21:13

mystery I've just passed that on, thank you.

bumblingbovine49 Wed 16-Sep-20 07:22:36

Splendidseptember

People are being corralled into a dead end, there is no help for them, don't blame them for making silly descion when they feel there is no where else Togo

Absolutely this. I reallly dislike it when people start saying ' entitlement' and ' stupidity' are the reasons. If people have only just stared doing this at a level that needs announcements by hospitals, then it is definitely not caused mostly by individuals being stupid but by the ridiculous situation people find themselves in with regards to testing and not being able to work as a result.

ExclamationPerfume Wed 16-Sep-20 07:24:44

Desperation. Without a clear test kids can't go back to school so parents can't go to work. People will lose their jobs over this. The government have been an absolute disgrace from day one.

CasperGutman Wed 16-Sep-20 07:25:51

mysteryfairy

www.theguardian.com/world/2020/sep/15/uk-families-having-to-hack-system-to-get-coronavirus-test

@Splendidseptember the postcode hack described may help your relative to get a QR code so she can access the local testing centre

It's understandable for people to resort to things like this at an individual level, but overall it's making the system even more broken.

How can public health professionals identify new outbreaks and hotspots if they have false location data for the people they're testing?

tiredanddangerous Wed 16-Sep-20 07:28:07

I can see how some people would be driven to it. They need to get back to work in order to get paid and there are no appointments available for tests. Wouldn't you do it if it meant the difference between being able to feed your children for a week or not?

milveycrohn Wed 16-Sep-20 07:30:17

Not everybody has a computer to book a test on line.
It seems an obvious place to go - your local hospital, and the obvious answer is for hospitals to have big signs, telling people what to do, if they want a Covid test;
ie this hospital does not provide covid tests.
If you suspect you have covid and require a test, then go home, diall this number, or book on line, etc

LemonTT Wed 16-Sep-20 07:32:25

Splendidseptember

I wouldn't but for instance I have sick relative who thinks she has it, spent all day on the phone trying to book a test, then someone told her about a drive in center, she got in car and drove to it, not far but 10 miles not feeling well6, there and 10 back.. She said very quiet but absolutely not allowed to have the test because she had not booked.

So she's back home ill.
She won't go to a and e unless she deteriorates further but... I can imagine many many people like her who feel more scared and desperate, can't talk to anyone, can't get advise, certainly can't get a test! Will go to a and e!!

Brace UK the real crisis it seems is about to hit us. 🤷‍♂️

She calls her GP. A test is a diagnostic tool we can self refer for. That doesn’t need a GP. But Covid symptoms can indicate other conditions and illness, or just be Covid.

The GP can conclude it’s Covid and refer the patient for care in community based teams. Or they can treat for other illness.

GnomeDePlume Wed 16-Sep-20 07:39:33

A&E is often the health service of last resort. Outside major towns out of hours services may be sketchy or non existent. They also depend on people having their own transport. Many services are office hours only but patients have to go through a number of steps (each of which can only be performed in office hours) to get to them.

It is little wonder that people use A&E to try to cut through the layers of bureaucracy to access the services they need.

Covid testing is one more thing added to this.

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