Pensioner fury over A&E wait

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An 85-year-old man has been left deeply upset by an experience in Craigavon Hospital’s Emergency Department.

The man, who does not want his name to be published, had to wait more than four hours for stitches to a gaping head wound.

The pensioner was saddened at the lack of attention he received from nurses as he waited for hours with his head bleeding. He has now made an official complaint.

“I was washing the car at home, I lost my footing and got a big bang on the head,” he said. “The blood was absolutely pouring out. My wife was in the shower but I managed to get some kitchen roll and then a plaster to stem the blood.”

The pensioner was at the hospital by 3.30pm but despite being the eighth person on the list to be seen, a succession of people were called before him.

“I was sitting there, with blood still pouring out of my head, I was running out of tissues, and there were lots of nurses running around, but not one of them stopped to say ‘I will get you a tissue or a plaster’.

“I told them I was thirsty but I was never given a drink and I told them my head was sore but they never offered me a tablet.

“I’m 85, and although they wouldn’t have known my age I think I deserved to be treated better. So many times I went down and asked and each time I was told I was at the top of the list. A lady who was battered and bruised ended up getting me some tissues.

“When I was eventually seen by a doctor he told me he had just started on the evening shift so it looked as if there had been no-one there before to treat me.”

He did not leave the hospital until 7.30pm, by which time he “was so exhausted he could barely walk to the car”.

Southern Trust interim director of acute services Debbie Burns said, “We take very seriously feedback from any patient who does not feel they received the appropriate standard of care and treatment from us. Whilst we cannot comment on or discuss the care of any individual patient, it is entirely right that when concerns are raised they are addressed with the patient and we will be responding directly to the gentleman concerned. Our Emergency Department is there to provide safe, high quality care for every patient so it is always a matter of real concern to us when a patient is dissatisfied.”