Information for patients waiting in hospital A&E

Although a first instance decision with a rather brief judgment, Darnley v Croydon Health Services NHS Trust [2015] EWHC 2301 (QB) is interesting for its focus on the possible duty of a hospital receptionist (not triage staff) to provide information to a patient suffering a head injury, such as may encourage the patient to wait to be seen by medical staff.

The trial judge noted at [85]:

We seem to live in an age where there is, in perception at least, increasing reluctance by individuals to take personal responsibility for their own actions. Here the Claimant’s case on this issue, baldly stated, is that it was the fault of the receptionists that he left the hospital and thus their fault for everything that flowed from such departure.

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