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90-year-old left on hospital trolley for 11 hours

Posted in: Medical Negligence 

Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham has issued an apology to 90 year-old Margaret Slater after leaving her to lie on a trolley in the Accident and Emergency department on 11 November without food or water for 11 hours. The dementia patient was taken to the hospital suffering from severe hallucinations and was seen by a nurse upon her arrival. Three hours later she was seen by a doctor who said that she should be admitted to the hospital, however she was left where she was for a further eight hours before being moved to a ward.

Mrs Slater’s family described the A&E unit as having too many patients for the number of staff dealing with them, and said that there were people queuing in hallways and waiting areas. Mrs Slater’s daughter, Linda Hughes, described the staff as ‘very caring’ but added that there were just not enough of them. She went on to state that had she not put pressure on the staff to move her mother, she would have lain there even longer.

Only 74.1% of patients admitted within four-hour target

According to the government, 95% of patients should be admitted within four hours of arriving at hospitals in England. That week at Queen’s Medical Centre, only 74.1% had been admitted within four hours on the Wednesday, and over the week only 80.7%. The Trust put out a statement apologising for the situation and said that there had been a ‘surge’ in patients. Mrs Slater was being admitted on the Wednesday.

Divisional Director of Medicine, Alun Harcombe, confirmed that the hospital was running fully staffed, but that the ‘surge in people attending’ had meant that admission times had been adversely affected. In offering the Trust’s apology, Mr Harcombe stated that staff had been reminded of the importance of offering patients food or drink at regular intervals.

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