Reader poll: Have you experienced very long waiting times at A&E?

Have you experienced very long waiting times at A&E?
  • Yes
  • No

0 voters

Thankfully I haven’t needed to attend A&E. I also have no experience of others using the service. I am a former ITU nurse (student - surgical - orthopedics - A&E - general ITU - oncology - transplant ITU) and at my last visit saw that most of the nursing staff were overweight.
As a student; during a break between classes we were sunning ourselves when Matron passed. 1st) “Girls cigarettes out now and don’t let me see you smoke again, Nurse Reid five minutes!” 2nd) She marched up to an approaching girl…" Yes young lady what can I do for you?" She: “I’m going to become a nurse.” Matron: " Oh no you’re not, you’ll go home and lose two stones, then we’ll see about you becoming a nurse!" Matron marched her to the side gate and returned with “Nurse Reid, two minutes, thank you girls.” Happy days.

I think the question is problematic. You can only answer yes if you have been to A&E but you could answer no because you’ve never been there.

I dunted my eye one Sunday afternoon last month and tho it didn’t bleed much I had split the skin with the roll of roofing felt I was carrying - where it had pushed against my eye socket.
Called 111 for NHS 24 and spoke to sensible call handler who took basic details and then passed be on to [I guess] a qualified nurse who asked a couple further questions. Advised against just rocking up at Western General Hospital Minor Injuries Clinic and said they’d call back.
Within the hour got the call back and - because it was injury near the eye - they advised I present at New Royal Infirmary. Arrived about 8pm and went to the A&E desk, gave my name and date of birth and they pulled up my records and I didn’t even have time to sit down before I was called theough to the Minor Injuries Clinic down a few corridors = where I waited maybe 30 minutes before I was seen by Dr Andrew Brown who wiped it down fiercely with plain water and muslin and popped a couple of stitches in and sent me on my way.
No Long John Silver eye patch - indeed no dressing at all as it was not bleeding.
We were off to Ceolas on South Uist shortly after - so the seven days suggested for stitches in such a situation was up while we were the. So I called in to the local GP and got an appointment next day with their practice nurse - who was very admiring of the tidy stitches which she gently snipped and pulled out.
Admiring of the service at every point.
Might suggest it is worth calling NHS24 if not very urgent as they can effectively do some of the triaging? There certainly was a pretty busy waiting room for the general A&E on a Sunday evening - but - because they knew it was just a minor injury I could go straight through.
I’ve had very good experience with our Bruntsfield Medical Practice too - very straightforward couple of visits recently for prostate checkup after literally decades of no visits - referred quickly to specialist at St John’s in Livingston who pronounced all clear - decided after a thoughtful exchange with GP after to not start on the single pill you can take as not serious condition.
I’m in awe of the staff - all very friendly and very professional, and listening carefully.
Long may it last - I follow Dr Julia Grace Patterson who has started a substack blog [recommended] with twitter going weird. She started EveryDoctor during the pandemic and has written a book “Critical: Why the NHS is being destroyed and how to fight for it” *
Inevitably she is mainly hearing from colleagues in the English setup which has been right messed about since Lansbury et all have been at it. Unfortunately the Scottish Healthcare Service is under similar pressures and so we need to keep the pressure on Holyrood.

  • See recent article in OpenDemocracy for a bit about it.