23rd Jan, 2020

Royal was ‘worse than war zone hospitals’

A FORMER soldier has slammed Worcestershire Royal Hospital as ‘worse than those in Iraq and Afghanistan’ after his father spent more than seven hours in an ambulance waiting to be admitted to Accident and Emergency.

Paul Reid’s father’s ordeal didn’t end there either.

After finally being admitted at half past midnight the 91-year-old, who had suffered a stroke, was assessed and then wheeled into a corridor which already contained 14 patients waiting on beds.

Once there, Paul, who served with the Royal Army Medical Corps, said his dad’s dignity and respect were compromised.

“The corridor in A&E was stacked with beds on either side making effective cleaning impossible, increasing the risk of disease transmission and compromised infection control,” said Paul, who now works in health and safety.

And when his father was finally discharged he said no care arrangements were put in place by the onward care team.

His dad, who lived in Matchborough, Redditch died on October 31.

“I’m a firm believer that the Alex hospital in Redditch should be utilised more and moving everything to Worcester was really negative.

“Sitting waiting in the back of an ambulance is really quite criminal,” said Paul.

“I was in Iraq and Afghanistan and their hospitals are better than ours.”

His dad was in the ambulance so long he was transferred to another as the original crew’s shift was over.

“I have to say the paramedics were extremely professional and couldn’t stop apologising for the wait my father had to endure,” said Paul.

“I counted 16 ambulances outside A&E at the same time that night. This meant there were 32 ambulance crews waiting to hand over patients, which must have placed a drain on vehicles and manpower.”

He said he had initially been offered a meeting with the chief executive, Matthew Hopkins but had then been offered a meeting with staff from the ward his dad was admitted to and from A&E.

“I don’t want to speak to different departments, I want to talk to the head of the snake,” said Paul.

“They have been in red for the last nine years and that is disgusting.

“I do health and safety examinations and if I’d come across this I’d have closed them down.”

A spokesperson for Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust said: “We’re very sorry to hear Mr Reid’s concerns about his father’s care at our hospital. The experience he has described does not match our expectation of the care we aim to provide. Any shortcomings in a patient’s care are deeply regrettable and we apologise for these.

“We are in discussion with Mr Reid about the care provided to his father, and have offered to meet with him in person to discuss this in more detail.”

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