Pensioner ‘crying in pain’ as she waits in ambulance due to A&E queue

A frail pensioner was “crying in pain” as she was forced to wait in an ambulance due to huge A&E queues.

The 82-year-old’s son, who has asked not to be named, told how his mother was taken to the hospital on March 7.

However, when the ambulance arrived at Whiston Hospital in Prescot, Merseyside, it was “chaos”.

The man says there were multiple ambulances queued outside the A&E department, reports The Liverpool Echo.

Whiston Hospital confirmed they had experienced “unprecedented demand” at A&E.

St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust has now declared the highest level of escalation possible, with its hospitals operating at full capacity.

The man said: “They are keeping all ambulance admitted patients in the ambulances themselves as there are no spaces available in A&E. My mum was crying in pain.

“My mum is 82, and this has made her very agitated and upset.”

He also claimed ambulance staff told him they are being kept here for “almost their entire shift” in some instances.

Whiston is not the only hospital struggling; hospitals across the region, the North West, and the country are facing significant pressures due to NHS cuts.

Earlier this year, a doctor working in Aintree Hospital’s A&E department said: “This isn’t healthcare; it is now a lottery whether you will survive.”

Several doctors spoke of their dismay at the fact busy corridors are now routinely used to house patients who are waiting for huge lengths of time for bed spaces on wards.

One doctor said: “We now have call bells in the corridor, this has normalised corridors being used for patients.”

This normalisation of corridor wards is evident by the recent installation of power sockets on those corridors.

Just two weeks ago Aberdeen Royal Infirmary declared a major incident as 13 ambulances were queued outside.

A St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust spokesperson said: “As with all other hospitals across the country, we have experienced unprecedented demand for our emergency care services over a sustained period of time.

“This week, due to high numbers of patients requiring acute care and a significant number of medically fit patients unable to be discharged due to delays in the community, the Trust has declared the highest level of escalation possible with its hospitals operating at full capacity.

“This inevitably causes delays for those attending or requiring admission through the Emergency Department, with some patients with non-life threatening conditions unfortunately being cared for on ambulances outside the department.

“Our staff are responding to this increased pressure with exceptional professionalism and are working incredibly hard throughout the hospitals to manage demand.

“We appreciate how difficult the current situation is and would like to thank the public for their continued support and kindness.”

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