A&E patients told they face ‘unacceptable’ 13-hour wait

Last month, a Care Quality Commission (CQC) study of two emergency room departments found that more than half of patients had tried a different health care service before contacting the emergency room. In almost half of these cases, the patients had first tried their family doctor, the examination of 422 patients showed.

Stephanie Lawton, Chief Operating Officer of the NHS Trust at Princess Alexandra Hospital, said: “We are currently experiencing extremely high demand for our emergency services and have seen a significant increase in attendance in our Emergency Department.

“Our teams are working hard to assess and treat patients as quickly and effectively as possible to reduce delays and are prioritizing those who have the greatest clinical need.

“The public can help us ease the pressure by using the NHS 111 service for non-urgent health advice. In urgent and life-threatening emergencies, continue to call 999 or go to the emergency room as usual.”

“For two weeks I only suffered”

Sharon Livett was taken to Princess Elizabeth Hospital in an ambulance last Friday to be treated for a urinary tract infection.

Ms Livett, 55, who has been paralyzed for 23 years, sought advice from her GP, who she had never met, after a home testing kit found the infection. She received a call from a paramedic offering her a prescription that proved ineffective.

For two weeks, “I just suffered,” she said. When she finally received a diagnosis from her diabetes team at the hospital, she called her GP office, who, after a 40-minute phone queue, offered her the same prescription as before.

Ms Livett said the emergency room was filled with cases like hers that could have been treated by a GP.

“It’s just silly that people go to the hospital for silly little things that a GP can deal with. That’s because GPs don’t see patients in person, and if you ask for an appointment, they tell you there are no appointments,” she said.

“The other day the ambulance crew said to me that when people come to clients’ homes they say, ‘I didn’t want to go to the hospital, you can just check me out’.” A&E patients told they face ‘unacceptable’ 13-hour wait

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