When we arrived, I noticed there is now an out of hours GP service (OOH as it is known, apparently) and rang the bell as invited. The basic message there was that, unless I had made an appointment (How? Where?), I had no chance and I should see the receptionist for A&E. So, I stood behind a man in his seventies with an obviously bad leg who was balancing against the desk and we waited... and waited ... for at least ten minutes. Even the cleaner became concerned and assured us there would be someone there any minute. The receptionist finally appeared with much smiling and joking and took our details. Would the man in front like a wheelchair? He demurred but she commandeered a porter (very fortunate timing there) and he duly wheeled the man across to the opposite wall. Eventually, he was called for triage. He was on his own, so he struggled out of his wheelchair and limped slowly across the several yards to the waiting nurse. As he reached her she, having watched him making his painful journey, then said, "Oh, would you like a wheelchair?"
Eventually, I too was triaged and later again, seen by a very nice doctor and prescribed antibiotics.
The general belief these days is that at weekends, there is more or less a skeleton staff in hospitals, so don't get ill then - wait till a weekday. What I saw this morning was plenty of staff, both in A&E and in and around the pharmacy, none of whom showed any sense of urgency whatsoever. I'm talking wandering up and down corridors in small groups, chatting and laughing, drinking cans of coke and having two or three people doing jobs which patently should only take one.
I have been at outpatients departments at that hospital and had a couple of small operations there and not had any complaints, so I would not wish to tar everyone with the same brush. My most recent experience of day surgery in April was second to none and the care and attention of the staff couldn't have been better. I have also had other experiences which left something to be desired and so has Keith. It seems that the Pareto Principle is alive and well in this hospital and probably in most others, loosely translated as 20% of staff doing 80% of the work and it does not inspire confidence to realise that the way one is treated is likely to be a bit of a lottery.
However, to return to our A&;E, if the staff on duty this morning had been working with any reasonable degree of energy and interest, we would all have been seen and treated in half the time. After all, it was Sunday morning and there were only half a dozen of us there at any one time.
Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board is in trouble at present due to failings in management.