Health chief apologises as patient was placed in hospital corridor for over 18 hours

Reporter:

Lucy Wain

An Oswestry woman has outlined the pressure faced by NHS staff after she spent more than 18 hours on a hospital bed in a main corridor of the cardiology ward.

Carol Booth was admitted to the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital on Friday, October 27 for the second time in 10 days.

Ms Booth, 73, suffers from atrial fibrillation, a heart condition that causes an irregular and often abnormally fast heartbeat.

On the Sunday, the ward sister visited Ms Booth at 9.15pm and said because of a shortage of beds, she would have to placed in the main hospital corridor.

“I was one of the only mobile patients out of the six of us on the ward, and I would have felt guilty making somebody else move, so I went along with it,” said Ms Booth.

“The sister assured me they would ‘do their best to make me comfortable’.

“I was placed in the corridor with screens around me, opposite an open door of a bay and the busy nurses’ station.

“The patient toilets, bins and two other side wards were nearby.”

Ms Booth requested an eye mask and ear plugs, which she said eased the situation. But her bed was next to a unit which was constantly used by nurses, resulting in disturbances throughout the night.

“It was manic,” said Ms Booth.

“The noise was unbelievable and the staff were rushed off their feet.

“They were mortified by the situation but they were doing the best they could.”

Ms Booth was removed from the corridor at 4pm the following day.

“Until you’re a patient or a member of your family is in hospital, you don’t see how bad things are,” said Ms Booth. “But I want to emphasise the pressure the NHS staff are under.

“The reason I was moved was because of the pressure coming from A&E and ambulances coming in.”

Simon Wright, the chief executive of the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust (SaTH), discussed Ms Booth’s plight on BBC Radio Shropshire.

He said: “I apologise for the experience Carol had in Shrewsbury. It’s not a situation we want our patients to be going through.

“There have been occasions where the hospital has seen significant volumes of emergency admissions later on in the night, and we’ve not been able to organise our resources because it’s so late, or to manage patients into hospital as quickly as we would want.

“That forced us into a position where we’ve had to put patients in Carol’s position.

“We are working on schemes to keep patients well so they don’t have to occupy a bed, and we’re also looking to introduce a few more beds during the busy winter period so we’re not having circumstances like Carol found herself in.

“The staff or team at SaTH would not want to see that happening and we are trying to prevent it..”

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