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Idiots who should NOT be going to A&E

(195 Posts)
merlotgran Tue 17-Dec-19 10:19:49

I spent ten hours with DH in A&E yesterday. He had another heart scare due to fluid build up but is OK now and back home!! He had a two hour wait on a trolley in the corridor before being transferred to a cubicle so we considered ourselves lucky because they were run off their feet. I don't think I've ever seen it so busy (and I'm a bit of a regular these days)

After DH's excellent treatment and advice, we were directed to a small room to wait for the discharge notes. There were about eight others in there so we got chatting about our experiences - like you do.

A man sitting opposite us, probably around sixty, said he was really pleased he'd been given a clean bill of health. Apparently he'd had some heart problems in the past so I said, 'That's great, you must be very relieved.'

'Oh yes,' he replied. 'I'm off to Tenerife next Monday and my GP is a useless t**t and wouldn't give me an appointment so I've come in here for a once-over because I don't want to be taken ill on my holiday.' angry

You can imagine the atmosphere. I hope he felt uncomfortable in the stony silence under the gaze of all the 'death stares.' DH had just spent hours in a cubicle next to a woman who was epileptic and had badly damaged her neck during a seizure. She had to wait two hours in the ambulance before there was room for her to be wheeled in.

I wanted to kick Tenerife man in the goolies!

But that would have meant him taking up a much needed bed!!!


annsixty Tue 17-Dec-19 10:34:48

My GD and I spent over 6 hours in A&E just two weeks ago, she was waiting for ambulance transfer to another hospital and I know exactly what you mean.
The ones brought in by ambulance who decide to go home because they won't wait to be seen.
The young ones with drink and drug issues who upset everyone.
We saw it all.
It takes patience to keep quiet.
I hope your H is ok now and remains so.

fourormore Tue 17-Dec-19 10:37:16

Oh how I agree! The Tenerife man was definitely wrong to misuse the A&E but at the same time he is correct in that it is virtually impossible to get an appointment with a GP these days.
Don't misunderstand me - he was in the wrong but you can see his thinking.
In our area we cannot make an appointment to actually see a GP face to face.
Initially we have to ring after 8am in the morning. When you eventually get through you are put on the list for a doctor to telephone you. However they cannot give you a time slot when this is likely to happen so you may have to wait in for some time before the call comes (I don't fancy discussing my problem with my GP on my mobile while standing at the supermarket checkout or on the bus!)
When the doc eventually speaks to you he/she will then decide if you need to be seen and if you're lucky you may get an appointment that day.
I worked on hospital wards for many years as an auxiliary nurse and was taught that as you approach a patient, even before speaking to them, you make an assessment of their 'ABCDE' - alertness, breathing, colour, demeanour and energy etc. Docs cannot do that over the phone.
Whilst absolutely not condoning misuse of A&E I can understand why people go there with trivial problems.
I do agree that a pre-holiday check-up was really naughty though and understand how frustrating the other genuine patients felt.
Sadly it will only get worse - no wait a minute - we have been promised more NHS money, more doctors and nurses etc.etc. tchhmm so all will be sorted!

Grammaretto Tue 17-Dec-19 10:44:51

I am completely with you merlotgran and there's the Friday night rule. ie don't go on Friday night if you can possibly avoid it. I had to "rush" MiL to A & E after a fall. She's 94 and her head was bleeding. I kept begging for her to go to the front of the queue but nothing. After 5 hours (she was in a cubicle by this time ) a nice doctor saw her and a nurse bandaged her and asked her a few questions and I took her home.

There were drunks with black eyes and entire families keeping warm? who knows. The police were visible too and at least one patient was in handcuffs. All human life on a Friday night.

But your man coming in instead of seeing a GP is another matter. Shocking.
I am so glad Mr Merlot was OK.

merlotgran Tue 17-Dec-19 11:03:09

He's feeling much better thanks. It's happened before and we've been told not to hang about as it could be a heart attack.

Another thing that angered me was during the long wait in pharmacy, they were calling out names and numbers for people to collect meds that had been ordered by outpatient clinics. A pile of unclaimed medication was building up on the shelves.

Obviously the so-called 'patients' couldn't be bothered to wait so buggered off were happy to leave empty handed because they didn't really need them in the first place. angry

endlessstrife Tue 17-Dec-19 11:04:19

I remember working as a nurse in A/E in the early eighties, and getting cross about the same things then as I do now. Nothing ever changes, no matter who’s voted in.

GagaJo Tue 17-Dec-19 11:05:34

No appointments until the new year at my daughters surgery.

None at mine either.

Have to phone at 8am and keep trying to get through. HOW am I supposed to do that when I'm at work????

You can't blame people for using A&E if there is no GP appointment available. It's what 111 will suggest if someone can't be seen at a Walk In clinic or their GP.

This is thanks to Tory cuts. So before you castigate people for 'stupidity', this is a DIRECT result of our government cutting the NHS.

Ellianne Tue 17-Dec-19 11:11:04

First GP appointment I can get is New Year at mine too. The system is at fault.

midgey Tue 17-Dec-19 11:15:33

I don’t think it’s the system, I think it’s sheer numbers of people needing appointments and disappearing gps due to age or wanting a life work balance.

GagaJo Tue 17-Dec-19 11:18:06

Lack of funding. GP workload too much - hence shortage of GPs.

This is all a precursor to the Tories saying the system doesn't work and selling section off.

Chestnut Tue 17-Dec-19 11:18:48

I don't understand why there isn't some sort of vetting process at the door and time-wasters informed that A&E is not for their complaint and sent on their way. Maybe a list on the wall showing what actually does qualify for treatment. If it 'aint on the list then you go home!

GagaJo Tue 17-Dec-19 11:21:05

Who to? No GP. No Walk In Centre.

We pay tax and NI for healthcare. We have to be able to access it SOMEWHERE.

Davidhs Tue 17-Dec-19 12:50:47

The pharmacies are snowed under too, it’s not unclaimed medications it’s routine repeat orders waiting to be delivered to patients. They even put medications into daily dose boxes for individual patients.

Sparklefizz Tue 17-Dec-19 13:04:29

GagaJo Grrr! Why do you think there were cuts? Could it have been because Labour left no money in the pot - as in fact they always do after a spell in office - so that the country had to cut its suit according to its cloth, as the saying goes?

Franbern Tue 17-Dec-19 13:04:39

People who are not able to register with any GP also have to use A&E for minor ailments. Homeless people -and increasing number of all ages.
Do not think the A&E I used to go to at a large London Hospital would have been used by anyone for warmth, the waiting area is very uncomfortable and chilly -usually not even enough seats for all those waiting.
Whereas I agree that it is such a shame that doctors and nurses time is wasted by those with a cough, or a hangnail, etc. would concern me to have any triage system that sent people away. Can you imagine the outcry when one of those refused died a few hours later.
More education about self help, more walk-in centre, easier access to GP services, use of pharmacies could all help to ease this mis-use.

GagaJo Tue 17-Dec-19 13:11:59

Sparklefizz, oh get over yourself. That was TEN years ago.

Why is the debt 10 times more now than it was at the end of Labour? Given all the Tories sold off, they should be in profit. But of course, they bailed out their cronies in the banks.

GagaJo Tue 17-Dec-19 13:13:09

Underfunding is a deliberate part of the sell off policy. Underfund. No longer fit for purpose. Privatise.

Doodledog Tue 17-Dec-19 13:13:54

Why do you think there were cuts? Could it have been because Labour left no money in the pot - as in fact they always do after a spell in office - so that the country had to cut its suit according to its cloth, as the saying goes?
Are you for real? For how much longer can you blame the Labour Party for the fact that the Tories are not interested in public services unless they make a profit? If the Tories had prioritised the NHS then nothing the LP has done or hadn’t done nearly ten years ago would matter now.

And it goes without saying that the banking crisis was responsible for ruining the economy, not bad management.

craftyone Tue 17-Dec-19 13:15:46

I agree very much with sparklefizz re labour legacy

people should see pharmacists a lot more, they are very well trained to deal with minor illnesses and will refer if necessary. Trouble is that they work normal shop hours. The answer has to be drop in centres for minor injuries, there are two within reach of where I live

yggdrasil Tue 17-Dec-19 13:23:31

craftyone: so you are another who believes fake news. As Doodledog said, it was the US bankers who caused the global crash. And every other time Labour has left office with a better economy balance than they came in with. This is not difficult to check if you look at reputable websites or media (ie not the Mail, Express or Sun)
And the Tories have had 10 years to deal with the problems, that most of Europe managed to settle down in less than half that time.

CoolioC Tue 17-Dec-19 13:23:40

We have a six week wait here in our local surgery in Portugal as there are no doctors.

Some of our German friends are GP’s in Germany, he starts at 7 and finishes at 7. He sees around 70 people per day. At least he sees them.

GagaJo Tue 17-Dec-19 13:32:04

Anyone STILL blaming Labour from 10 years ago is, frankly, pathetic.

Who will you blame after 15 years?

TAKE RESPONSIBILITY! Those who castigate the LB or JC are constantly excusing the deplorable state of public services under the Tories. A party who has been in power for a DECADE.


GrannyGravy13 Tue 17-Dec-19 14:22:39

Fed up of people bashing the NHS........we are very fortunate the NHS saves thousands of lives every week.

It is not all bad, but bad news travels fast, nobody is interested in positive news anymore.

annep1 Tue 17-Dec-19 14:31:48

I don't believe people aren't interested in good news. But a lot of it is very gloomy atm.
J agree re blaming Labour after all this time.

GrannyGravy13 Tue 17-Dec-19 14:41:37

merlotgran the guy at A & E for a pre-holiday check up was in my opinion out of order.