Citizen journalist Sally Murrer experienced A&E first hand this week when her mother was rushed in after suffering a fall, but had nothing but praise for the staff.
Kath Murrer, 85, of Newport Pagnell, was taken to A&E on Tuesday with a head injury and dislocated shoulder.
Sally said: “Sitting in the packed waiting room I watched the staff bustle around, recording, examining, reassuring, occasionally appeasing an irate relative or patient. Behind the masks of well-rehearsed calm, you could see the stress in staff members’ eyes.
“Could they cope with one more patient: my mother? Would this be one of the A&E horror stories you read in the national press?
“They coped. What’s more, they did a brilliant job. From the paramedics, who were so sweet to my mum that she promised to bake them an apple pie, to the junior nurse who gave up her break to make us a cup of tea, they were pretty magnificent.
“Yes, we had to wait a while. But there were people much sicker than my mum who needed attention first. Yes, it was crowded and the cubicles were basic. And it is most definitely frustrating to see staff pulled in every direction possible dealing with every different emergency – when, of course, yours seems the biggest emergency in the world.
“But we felt we were in safe hands. One staff member told me. ‘My reward is seeing people walk out of here healed’.
She added: “They were brilliant. They deserve our praise and our support. More than anything they deserve a new, bigger, better equipped A&E department.
“Now all we need to do is persuade the Government of that. Please follow the example of my mother who has demanded a pen to sign the petition form backing the Citizen campaign.”