Frail widow, 88, left on hospital trolley for 12 HOURS in 'chaotic' A&E department
Betty Newberry had to wait 12 hours on a hospital trolley overnight
She was rushed to Worcester Royal Hospital after she collapsedNurses in the overcrowded department were treating patients in corridors
13:08 GMT, 1 March 2013
13:09 GMT, 1 March 2013
A frail pensioner endured a 12 hour wait on a hospital trolley as overworked nurses struggled in a ‘chaotic’ accident and emergency department.
Betty Newberry, 88, was rushed to Worcester Royal Hospital by paramedics after a neighbour found her collapsed at her home last Friday.
Upon arrival her at 9pm, doctors carried out initial tests and scans before the widow was taken back to A&E to wait for a hospital bed.
Betty Newberry, 88, was left on a hospital trolley for 12 hours (pictured with neighbour, Councillor Joy Squires)
Instead, she was left on a trolley in a tiny cubicle for a further 12 hours until she was finally admitted to a ward at 9.15 the following morning.
Councillor Joy Squires, 58, who looks after Mrs Newberry, who is her neighbour, said that during this time nursing staff were forced to treat patients in corridors as the busy department filled up.
At one point there were said to be six trolleys lined up next to each other as overworked staff struggled to cope.
Cllr Squires said: ‘Betty was in a cubicle on the A&E ward, she was asleep most of the time and she kept waking up.
‘She was very confused and kept trying to get out of bed, I was able to make sure she didn't hurt herself.
‘It was unacceptable, I was shocked when I saw what was going on as I was unaware of what staff were facing.
‘I was shocked that there were trolleys in the corridor and people were being treated on them.
Betty Newberry was rushed to Worcester Royal Hospital by paramedics after a neighbour found her collapsed at her home
‘Having been there for a whole 12-hour shift I got to see just how much strain the staff are under.’
The Labour councillor now fears the hospital – which is expected to see an influx of emergency patients when the A&E at nearby Alexandra Hospital is downgraded – is already at breaking point.
She added: ‘Based on my experiences I don't think the hospital has the capacity to handle the extra admissions.’
Mrs Newberry, who has no children, was said to be in a frail condition following her ordeal, during which she treated for a chest infection.
Following a stay in hospital she was transferred to a local nursing home.
Simon Trickett, chief operating officer for South Worcestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, said Mrs Newberry’s experience was 'extraordinary’.
He said: ‘That sounds an extraordinary experience and I hope it wasn't a typical one.
‘Last month a reasonable portion of the hospital was blocked off because of the norovirus, which put pressure on beds.
‘It's not acceptable but there may be operational reasons for when things like this happen.’