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Visiting the Emergency Department at Addenbrooke's


In the last week, our volunteers have visited the Emergency Department (ED) at Addenbrooke's Hospital to find out about people’s experiences of care. The ED is the front door to care for many and is often very busy.  

This took place on Sunday 4th and Tuesday 6th December, when our team of specially trained Authorised Representatives made their 'unannounced visits' to the hospital, led by Kate Hales, our enter and view Co-ordinator. 

As part of our visit, we spoke to about 50 people in both the adult and children's areas of the Emergency Department, as well as the Ambulatory Care Unit and the Clinical Decision Unit. 

Our team also carried out a “15 Steps Challenge" assessment; this is a way of looking at the care provided through the eyes of people who use the services.  Watch the video below to find out a bit more about what the 15 steps challenge includes. 

Before we visited, Kate spoke to the hospital to agree which questions were most important to ask and where we would go within the department.

These visits were done using our statutory power to enter and view. This is Healthwatch's legal right to visit places that provide publicly funded health or care services to see and hear how people experience the services.  Although technically ‘unannounced’, the visits were planned with the knowledge and input of senior staff and the hospital was given a two-week window when they knew we would visit. 

Kate and the volunteers are now back in the office and are busy crunching the numbers and assessing the stories. We will publish a report of our visits in the New Year, making sure we give Addenbrooke's plenty of time to fact check the report and feedback on the draft.