A REDDITCH woman suffering from appendicitis spent 17 hours waiting in the corridors of Worcestershire Royal before she was finally admitted to a ward.
Once successfully operated on and cleared to return home Shelley Millward then spent a further eight hours in a precious bed waiting for a surgeon to sign her off.
Shelley’s nightmare began on Bank Holiday Monday, May 6, when she went to the walk-in primary care part of A&E at the Alex suffering from a chest infection and a pain in her side.
“A&E at the Alex was packed but they rushed me through and did a CT scan and diagnosed appendicitis,” said Shelley, the woman behind Magicakes at Winyates Craft Centre.
“However there wasn’t an ambulance to take me to Worcestershire Royal and one had to come up from Hereford.
“When we got to the Royal it was utter chaos. I was in a corridor and it was full of patients and old people all on trolleys.
“My ambulance had to go off so I was left on their trolley and we were being moved back and forth in and out of A&E. The staff must have been under so much stress and this doctor kept on apologising to us.”
By this time Shelley’s partner had counted 14 ambulances outside with patients waiting to get in to A&E.
“It was heartbreaking with all these elderly people in the corridor – they kept crying out and asking why they had been left there,” said mother of five Shelley, aged 47.
She spent three hours on the Hereford trolley before being transferred to a small A&E bed, still in the corridor, before being transferred to another corridor outside a ward.
“I think I spent about 17 hours in the corridors – they had so many emergencies and were so busy,” said Shelley, a diabetic.
By Tuesday evening she’d been admitted to the ward, although she hadn’t eaten since Monday, and was successfully operated on the following day.
She was cleared to go home, but then spent a further eight hours in bed waiting to be signed off by a surgeon.
“Can you imagine it? I was taking up a bed I didn’t need to be on for eight hours. No wonder the staff are under so much stress.”
Local health campaigner Ian Johnson said: “My heart goes out to both patients and staff working in these conditions. This morning (Wednesday, May 16) the waiting time in A&E at Worcestershire Royal was 11 hours. At the moment the NHS locally appears to be broken.”
A spokesperson for Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust said: “In common with many Trusts we continue to face very high levels of demand for our urgent care services.
“Despite our best efforts, this does mean that some patients have to wait longer than we would wish to be admitted. We would again apologise to any patient who feels unhappy with their experience of care.
“Staff in our EDs, and their colleagues in wards and departments across our Trust are working hard to care for large numbers of very seriously-ill patients and we would like to thank them for their dedication and commitment. We would also like to thank our patients for their patience and understanding.
“We would appeal to local people to play their part by following advice on using health services wisely.”