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Should she have got priority treatment over other non-urgent patients?

249 replies

Rabbitradar · 30/11/2019 11:32

DD is an SHO (dr) in A&E in city X. She was off duty yesterday and so came home and stayed here last night in city Y which is 30 miles from city X. She was due on shift at 10am this morning. Unfortunately one of her contact lenses tore in her eye and despite several attempts a piece of contact lens remained in her eye causing blurred vision and mild pain.
She could not drive due to blurred vision so I drove her to eye casualty in city Y.
Waiting room packed (9am) and average wait time 4 hours.
DD didn’t ask for priority treatment - and wouldn’t dream of expecting to be seen before anybody requiring urgent treatment. She did ask what the waiting time was and explained she was due on shift in A&E at hospital X.

However, to me it seems nuts that she is spending the morning sat in a waiting room with lots of other non-urgent casualties (and doubtless some urgent ones too) whilst 30 miles down the road at hospital X the waiting room in A&E will be backing up further as they are 1 Dr down.

AIBU to think that in some circumstances -like these - it would be sensible for NHS staff to get priority treatment?

Please note I am not suggesting that any other patient’s treatment is compromised just that other non-urgent patients have to wait a bit longer ....

OP posts:
Madaboutthem2 · 30/11/2019 11:40

Nope because you don't know what's wrong with others. I'd like to think they do it in an order that's fair. I do get your point to an extent. It's easy to think others look fine. My son was 14 months old in march and had breathing trouble. There were several people waiting. Including a two year old with a rash. My little boy would of looked fine to you. He was just sat in his pushchair looking around. At that point his breathing had returned to normal. He was seen within 5 minutes and jumped to the top of the list.

Rabbitradar · 30/11/2019 11:42

Although of course the patients in A&E at hospital X won’t have to wait as long if DD gets into work sooner rather than later!

OP posts:
hopeishere · 30/11/2019 11:44

I would have taken her to her place of work to be seen.

RunningAwaywiththeCircus · 30/11/2019 11:44

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Rabbitradar · 30/11/2019 11:44

Good point although this is an eye casualty unit she is waiting in ....,

OP posts:
VanGoghsDog · 30/11/2019 11:45

No idea, but would have made more sense for you to drive her to where she worked where her colleagues would know her and might decide to prioritise her.

DowntownAbby · 30/11/2019 11:45

What if she was a police officer who needed to get to her shift?

What if she was a teacher who needed to get to school?

What if she was a carer who needed to get to her client?

MsRomanoff · 30/11/2019 11:45

So what happens if quite a few doctors need treatment that morning? Everyone else gets bumped?

CheshireChat · 30/11/2019 11:45

Actually, whilst she shouldn't be the main priority for obvious reasons, I think it would be ok if she got seen sooner rather than later as it sounds like it would be a quick fix.

It might've been better to have taken her to her own hospital though.

Wolfff · 30/11/2019 11:46

Were there alternatives like an opticians or taking her to her own hospital or another hospital that has Minor injuries facility with shorter waiting times?

heath48 · 30/11/2019 11:48

No of course she shouldn’t be given priority!!!

Bufferingkisses · 30/11/2019 11:50

If you had taken her to her place of work she would, probably, have been seen quicker. This is because both the staff and the patients affected have a vested interest in having her back on duty asap. Any non urgent patients waiting a bit longer for her to be seen would then be seen quicker because she had been seen.

The staff and patients in hospital Y get no benefit from bumping her through and would only stand to be criticised by doing it. I get your point but it I totally understandable from Y's pov. Criticism of the NHS is a massive issue even when the decision makes sense.

Rabbitradar · 30/11/2019 11:51

I did consider driving her to hospital X but it would have meant that her car would be left here 30 miles away so problematic for her to get it back ( 4 days of 12 hour shifts now) plus they don’t have an eye casualty unit there.

OP posts:
Chocolatemouse84 · 30/11/2019 11:54

Yabu. The majority of people who present at a and e will have jobs or other duties to get back to. It's unfair to try and prioritise people based on what they have planned for the rest of the day.

Dontdisturbmenow · 30/11/2019 11:57

Will she be in a state to go straight to work afterwards though? Sounds like her sight has been quite affected and she might have scratched her cornea, so similarly, which should she be given priority if she then plans to go home and take the day off?

JE17 · 30/11/2019 11:58

I would have expected that if she went to her own hospital she would be seen more quickly. Just because in lots of jobs there's often a similar sort of advantage for those in the know (usually unofficial but it still exists).

Myshinynewname · 30/11/2019 11:59

So you think other strangers in A&E should be inconvenienced by your DD getting priority treatment. But you don’t think you or your dd should be inconvenienced? If you drive her to her own hospital and then gave her a lift back to your house to collect her car after work she would get to her job sooner.

Mamabear88 · 30/11/2019 12:00

YABU. You can't expect NHS staff to prioritise patients in order of urgency AND their job/arrangements for the rest of the day. That's just ridiculous. I get what you are saying but like others have said, there may be other people who have important jobs to get to too.

AdobeWanKenobi · 30/11/2019 12:01

Many years ago I broke my foot. I went to A&E at 10pm and took a seat. It was reasonably full but not heaving. I was there all night and finally left at 7am.
Around 2am a pair of Paramedics showed up. I was listening to their conversation as I sat in the waiting room and one was saying to the receptionist that he'd finished his shift now but had 'twinged his arm a bit' moving a patient. He took a seat in the waiting room and within 5 minutes was called in.

The atmosphere suddenly changed and I thought there would be a riot. People who'd been sat there longer than me were clearly pissed off with the treatment and asked if they should have told them they were Doctors as well.

I can see both sides. Yes, she'd get to work quicker but you risk pissing off sick people who've sat and waited. Added to this, triaging by profession is a dangerous road to travel. Who gets in quicker? Police? Fire? etc
She needs to wait her turn unfortunately.

DioneTheDiabolist · 30/11/2019 12:02

Has she phoned in so her hospital can arrange cover?

Sunflower20 · 30/11/2019 12:03

I think by now you should realise that being a medic in the NHS is a thankless no, she doesn’t get prioritised within reason.

Peaseblossom22 · 30/11/2019 12:04

This happened to me , the optician took it out and gave me drops . It just needs a strong light and they have safe tools

pigsDOfly · 30/11/2019 12:05

For something like this I think I would have rung my optician and asked if this is something they could sort out rather than going straight to A & E and sitting there for hours.

pigsDOfly · 30/11/2019 12:07

Ah, see Peaseblossom22 has actually done that.

Opticians aren't just there for testing sight.

Abibranning · 30/11/2019 12:07

Not sure the NHS have time to triage based on job. Also obviously those that are now too sick to ever work again would never get seen as they would be lowest priority and children do we triage them on what their parents do, or base it on them just having no where else to be as not contributing. I think that the current system is the only way it can be done. Patient x illness = priority level

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