Hospital apologises to elderly patient after 22-hour wait

PUBLISHED: 11:00 11 January 2018

Weston General Hospital.

Weston General Hospital.

Archant

Weston General Hospital has apologised to an elderly patient who waited 22 hours for a hospital bed.

Esme Thomas, aged 87, was taken to the hospital on New Year’s Day with breathing problems, but was not given a bed until the next day.

The hospital has apologised to Esme and her family and stressed it is under ‘extreme pressure’ due to a huge increase in the number of ‘very ill’ patients it is treating.

A hospital spokesman said: “We would like to extend our sincere apologies to Esme Thomas and her family, and to all our patients who have had to spend much longer in A&E than normal waiting for a hospital bed.

“We realise that this can cause extra stress and upset when patients are already very unwell.

“Similar to every other hospital in the country, we have been under extreme pressure seeing much higher volumes of very ill patients who need our care.

“Our senior staff have been talking to patients in the hospital to reassure them that we’re doing all that we can.

“We’d like to thank the public for their patience during this difficult time and to our staff who have been going above and beyond coping in extreme circumstances.”

Weston General Hospital’s A&E department has been closed between 10pm and 8am since July 4 following a report by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) which found it could not guarantee safe levels of staffing overnight.

Patients in need of emergency care during these hours are now taken to hospitals in Bristol and Taunton.

A spokesman for The Save Weston A&E Campaign, which has been pushing for A&E to reopen overnight, said: “We feel deeply sorry for Mrs Thomas and her family and wish her a quick and full recovery, but we are also well aware of the very difficult conditions under which dedicated NHS staff at Weston General are having to work.

“The lack of funding by government for the NHS is a betrayal of both staff and patients and has to be addressed.”

Health services in North Somerset, Bristol and South Gloucestershire are all experiencing high levels of demand and the NHS has announced a number of plans to cope with the extra pressure including postponing some non-urgent inpatient care, day procedures and routine outpatients until January 31.

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