THE husband of a woman who spent hours in a corridor on a trolley at Worcestershire Royal Hospital has branded the conditions “shocking”.
When Kaye Richards, of Braymoor Road, Worcester, was brought to the accident and emergency department at 3.30pm on Monday, March 17, and placed on a trolley in a corridor, she and her husband, Philip, thought she would be quickly moved into a private bay.
But what followed was more than four hours in which the 62-year-old, along with several other patients, was left and treated in the corridor as other patients, staff and visitors passed back and forth.
Mr Richards said he had been “shocked” by the experience, which the trust running the hospital has apologised for.
“All the time we were there she didn’t leave the corridor,” he said.
“She had to be examined in the corridor because they couldn’t put a screen around her and there were a lot of personal questions which they asked right in front of other people.”
Mr Richards said he put the blame at the feet of the health bosses and developers who planned the layout of the hospital, which opened in 2002.
“It’s absolutely plain to see that building is not fit for purpose,” he said.
“There is just not enough space.
“I spoke to a doctor and he said ‘This is how we deal with it’. I said ‘you can’t consider dealing with people in the corridors’.
“When people are in pain or suffering, to be in a corridor with other people walking by is third-world stuff.”
A spokesman from Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust apologised for Mrs Richards’ experience.
“Our A&E staff use screens to offer patients as much privacy as possible, but we accept that this is not up to our usual standards,” he said.
“The NHS nationally is experiencing unprecedented levels of pressure.
“In Worcestershire, our admissions continue to be higher than in previous years, and we are seeing additional numbers of older patients with more complex conditions.
“The extra demand puts pressure on the whole system and we are working with our partners to find a long-term solution.
“For example, our commissioners are investing in schemes which aim to keep patients out of hospital, or get them back into a more appropriate care setting after their hospital stay as quickly as possible.”
She added the trust would be happy to meet Mr and Mrs Richards to discuss their experiences.