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‘Blood, filth and long waits’ as A&E struggles to cope

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: November 22, 2012

Comments (16)

Accident and emergency patients at Burton’s Queen’s Hospital are suffering as it struggles to cope with a surge in demand, a visitor to the unit has claimed.

Kim Smith described chaotic scenes at the hospital’s A&E department after spending five-and-a-half hours there with her sister, Kerry Lawrence, who had banged her head after suffering a fainting fit.

Mrs Smith, from Winshill, said on one night in the unit last week: ■ A woman waited in A&E for more than eight hours for a bed; ■ An elderly man in a wheelchair was left unattended for three hours waiting to be taken home; ■ Patients were treated in a room which was ‘absolutely filthy’ with what appeared to be urine on the floor; and ■ Blood was left on the floor of a toilet for more than two hours as people continued to use it.

Queen’s has been placed under increasing strain due to the night-time closure of the A&E department at scandal-hit Stafford Hospital, and Mrs Smith claimed Burton was struggling to cope with the resultant surge in patients travelling from the other side of the county.

She said: “We got to the hospital at about 7pm and it was absolutely packed, with people in the corridor and standing in the entrance to A&E.

“We were taken into the triage room for assessment at about 9pm and finally got to see a doctor at 10.30pm.

“The room we were in was absolutely filthy, with stuff all over the floor, including a yellow liquid which hadn’t been cleaned up and used plasters left on the side.

“There was a lady who told A&E reception she’d made a mess in the toilet.

“Two-and-a-half hours later the blood on the floor still hadn’t been cleaned up, and although they’d put an ‘out of order’ sign on it, people were still using it.

“I’ve never seen the unit that packed before and it just seemed like there were too many people for them to cope with.

“The staff were trying really hard but the system just doesn’t work.”

Helen Ashley, chief executive of Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, apologised for the delay and said the hospital was experiencing greater demand than normal but was ‘making every effort to minimise waiting times’.

She said: “As soon as the area was identified as requiring cleaning a sign was displayed advising that the facilities were out of use, and alternative facilities were available nearby.

“Our domestic services team endeavours to clean areas quickly but during busy times this is not always possible.

“I should like to reassure the public that we are committed to delivering the highest standards of care at all times and fully investigate concerns voiced by patients or their relatives.”

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  • Burton Mail  |  November 28 2012, 9:16AM

    We already DO pay for the NHS! Why do people always say its a free service?

  • Burton Mail  |  November 26 2012, 8:56PM

    @N "I'm very sure that if a lot of you had to pay for this service then the waiting room would be nearly empty!!!" Derrr...I fink we're doing that already??

  • Burton Mail  |  November 26 2012, 2:12PM

    I attended A&E on Saturday 27th Oct with a spider bite under my eye, my face was swelling up, I arrived at 9.30 and was seen at 1.30. Was told to return the following day at 8am as they were concerned the infection under my skin was spreading to my eye. I went back as instructed on Sunday 28th Oct, I arrived at 7.30am, I was seen by a very rude nurse at 11.30am and was told to go home, unchecked, or I could wait another 4 hours to see a doctor. She stated that my face would go down over the next 12 hours. (how could she have known this when the closest she got to me was the room doorway) I woke at midnight that night to find my entire face had swelled, my eye completely closed and my mouth dropped. I returned to A&E at 2am on Monday 29th Oct. There were 5 people in the waiting room, they had all been there since the early hours. It was 5am before anyone was called through to be seen. The waiting area looked like a rugby team had had a brawl in there, there was blood on the floor, mud, dirty cups everywhere. I was seen at 6.30am! Again told to go home. I ended up at my doctors, who was disgusted and I was sent straight to a specialist at Derby as due to the fact my eye could not open due to the sewlling, they needed to know my eye was not infected as I could loose my sight. The specialists at derby were again disgusted and treated me immediately.It took over a week for my swelling to go down. And I could have lost my eye! I understand Burton is under stress at the moment, but when you need to feel that you are in safe hands, Burton is not the place to be at the moment! Both my doctors and Derby have made a complaint over the way I was treated. I feel for the staff, but I also feel for the old and young, incapable and unwell that are made to feel worse by this let down of a service.

  • Burton Mail  |  November 25 2012, 7:30PM

    Omg Jessica install!!!!!! What are you on about???? If the A/E department was that terrible then there is other ones that you can excess!!!!! I can't believe some of the rubbish that some people have the nerve to write & once again NEVER any good press!!!! Nothing about how the Drs & nurses work long hours without a break & have to deal with some violent & very abusive patients & visitors!! What about a big thankyou to having a NHS because I'm very sure that if a lot of you had to pay for this service then the waiting room would be nearly empty!!! What about a big thankyou to the drs & nurses cause I'm very sure we all have family members that they have helped & saved!!!

  • Burton Mail  |  November 25 2012, 10:27AM

    Having just spent two nights in hospital on the eau ward, i have mixed feelings,the ward isnt exactly spotless, staff are struggling to cope with the extra patients and work load,staff seem to sit for hours on computers documenting, while patients seem to suffer and have to wait till staff can get to them.I on a few occasions had to remind staff that i hadnt had certain medication or my anti biotics , i was appologised too.But is it my responsibility to remind staff...whats happening at queens? who is to blame ?

  • Burton Mail  |  November 24 2012, 11:14PM

    I arrived at the hospital on a monday evening at around 9pm, i didnt get seen untill around 1:30am by triage, i then waited another 2 hours for them to send me to x-ray after having my ring cut off. I then got seen again by the doctor at 04:30am and left the hospital at 04:55am. This was ridiculas, and alot of people were not happy with the communication between the staff and patient, and also the attitude from the staff!

  • Burton Mail  |  November 24 2012, 4:41PM

    Once again lessons will be learnt and another manager created.

  • Burton Mail  |  November 24 2012, 4:03PM

    ED stands for emergeny department not a out of hours gp service with ailments that can be dealt with by your GP or local pharmacy is it really necessary to sit in a ed department for up 10hrs for a problem you may of had for weeks and then complain about the waiting times this department is for genuine emergency problems healthcare is already stretch to the limits without being abused so think before you use it and give burton hospitals some credit for all there hard work that goes un noticed

  • Burton Mail  |  November 24 2012, 12:16PM

    Rather than the ambulance staff dump drunks in A&E, take them straight to the police and bang 'em up. Once people realise that a criminal record impacts your future life, the lesson will soon be learned.

  • Burton Mail  |  November 23 2012, 6:07PM

    It's about time the Stafford hospital fiasco was sorted out and people were brought to book. i have to say that with all my dealings with Burton hospital have been very good and on the whole and care has been top notch.