A&E ‘chaos’ as cancer patient has 10-hour wait

Angela's dad in Chesterfield A&E on December 30, 2016.
Angela's dad in Chesterfield A&E on December 30, 2016.

A woman who took her elderly father to Chesterfield Royal over Christmas has described the experience as ‘shockingly bad’.

Angela Rodgers, 49, from Swallownest, took her dad to A&E on December 30 - only to be confronted with a corridor ‘full of trolleys’.

Chesterfield Royal Hospital

Chesterfield Royal Hospital

Despite this, however, she is not angry with the hospital or its ‘amazing’ staff, reserving her ire for the ‘top people’ like Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt.

She said: “There were so many patients on trolleys in the A&E corridor.

“I was waiting with my father to get a bed and it was just chaos.

“How can this be happening in 2016 - it’s no fun for staff but definitely not for patients.”

Angela said her dad - who is 77 and has a malignant bowel tumour - had been passed from GP to A&E since December 4.

Despite the fact he was getting ‘weaker by the day’ she said she still had to ‘fight’ to get him a bed.

After waiting ten hours, Angela’s father - who lives in Dronfield - was accepted by the ‘wonderful and knowledgeable’ Portland Ward staff.

“It’s a shambles and the top people including our Health Secretary need to sort it and not just talk about it,” she said.

After her traumatic experience, Mrs Rodgers says she will be writing as many letters and emails as it takes to ‘shake things up’.

The latest available statistics show the trust to be under pressure but outperforming the national picture.

90.5% of people attending A&E at Chesterfield Royal in November were seen within four hours as opposed to 88.4% nationally.

The target for all A&E departments is for 95% of patients to be dealt with within four hours.

A spokesperson for Chesterfield Royal Hospital said: “The Trust, like other hospitals across the country, has experienced increased demand for emergency medical care and over the last few months.

“Working together with our health and social care partners - we have activated a range of plans including opening additional beds, to ensure we do everything we can to keep the hospital safe for the patients in our care.

“We are asking people to make the right choice for treatment, to make sure our emergency department can concentrate on looking after those people with serious and life-threatening accidents and illnesses.

“Anything less urgent might be more appropriately treated by a GP, or a visit to one of Derbyshire’s four minor injury units.

“Pharmacists can also provide advice about a range of medical conditions – including coughs, sore throats, rashes and headaches.”