Irony of ironies. We complained to Andy Burnham about the desperate state of the Acute Assessment Unit at Hull Royal Infirmary last Thursday. The this appeared on the BBC website on Monday. It could not be more damning.
Then to cap it all……
Yesterday had to go to my GP as I have been struggling since my last visit to the Royal London with breathlessness and a racing pulse. My GP immediately wanted to send me to HRI as she was concerned that given my long and tedious medical history, something needed looking at given the cardiac involvement. Having experienced the AAU last year she basically had to force me to go. This is what I found. (Bear in mind I felt like crap and wasn’t in a position to argue!)
4pm arrived at a and e with a letter. The triage was done really well and the nurse communicated the issue well and took time to look at my complex needs. They got me on a trolley and put me back in a cubicle.
8.45. No water, no info re loos, no communication at what was happening. I happened to look at the scoreboard they have there and it goes red when you get near the four hour target. Three senior staff were discussing what to do, in my earshot but about me and getting me “sorted out” before 9pm. Medical need, not time should not be the priority.
9pm Moved to AAU. Despite a long list of drugs needing to be administered (including morphine and insulin) which my GP had written out I did not see a staff member. No information was given as to why I was there, no water or food offered. In addition there was fresh blood on the floor which was ignored. It wasn’t cleaned up til the next morning.
10.05pm. A nurse came and did a ECG. I admit I could have asked but given previous experiences I wanted to see where this would go. No explanation was forthcoming, there was no medication given ( I had some in my bag, but they weren’t to know that). And supposing I had been more out of it than I was, what then?
10.22 Finally given a plastic cup of water. A jug appeared between 2.30 and 5am but it was out of reach. Luckily I was OK to get it, but it was a struggle.
As it happens, given the appalling experiences I have had in the past, this was a fairly ok admisson, but crucially no drugs were forthcoming until 8am, over 16 hours post reporting to the hospital. This in itself is completely out of order. When you consider that they had been subject to an adverse report you would imagine that at least in the short term make sure they got on top of basic things?
Between 12 midnight and 2.30 am the right tests were done and the Doctor explained things and communicated clearly and had some notion of what my issues were, so this is to be commended. They diagnosed cardiac problems related to diabetes and sent me home with a clear plan. But interestingly the consultant was surprised this hadn’t been picked up at HRI last year when this issue was first raised.
The story by the BBC comes as no surprise, and we raised it with Phil Morley in August and he denied there were any problems at AAU whatsoever but it is to be hoped that he will take affirmative action sooner rather than later. Bearing in mind I am a younger person and a frequent flier you have to worry for our more vulnerable residents.