A WOMAN suffering from painful pancreatitis was forced to wait ’14 hours in a corridor’ at Coventry’s University Hospital this week.
Beverley Patten says her overnight ordeal on Wednesday (August 28) was made even more “difficult and horrible” as she witnessed other sick and elderly people suffering a similar plight in August – far from being the often crisis-hit winter months.
Mrs Patton is the wife of ex-Coventry Labour and Liberal Democrat councillor Brian Patton, a stalwart defender of the NHS who claims their experience suggests it is now at breaking point.
Pancreatitis is a condition where the pancreas becomes inflamed over a short period of time, often causing intense pain. It was among several health issues Mrs Patton faces.
Mr Patton said: “After taking my wife to see our GP on Wednesday evening (shortly after 5pm) we were given a letter from him to take to the hospital in Walsgrave saying that he felt she needed to be admitted.
“She is suffering from Pancreatitis and was in a great deal of discomfort.
“Unfortunately, this is when I saw first hand just how much the NHS is struggling to cope and basically falling apart no matter what our politicians may tell us.
“I will also point out that I am a great supporter of the NHS and commend the hard working staff for their efforts to keep the NHS going under such great pressure.
“However, after handing in the letter from our GP my wife was told to take a seat where there was a 3-4 hour wait.
“This unfortunately turned into 14 hours of lying on a bed in a corridor with many many more people all in different extremes of pain and discomfort.
“Finally, my wife was given a prescription which you unfortunately could only cash in at the hospital where there were 15 people waiting to hand in their prescriptions and a further 2-3 hour wait for your prescription to be dealt with.
“As I have said I am a great supporter of the NHS and their hard working staff but if this is happening in late August what is going to happen if there were to be a flu epidemic or such like later in the year?
“The staff within the NHS and the media need to be highlighting the problems the NHS is suffering and not let the government just keep saying they are spending more and more money when it is basically blatantly obvious to anyone having to use their services that any extra money being spent certainly isn’t going to the frontline staff who so desperately need it.”
Mrs Patton told us: “Unfortunately, I wasn’t surprised as I’ve been in with my dad and know about the corridor situation.
“It was a very uncomfortable night. I had to ask for a blanket and I had no pillow.
“They’ve worked tirelessly but I must say it was a bit scary.
“It was very difficult for me to be able to do, with my overall health problems.
“But it was heartbreaking to see the elderly lying in corridors. It’s difficult and horrible.”
A spokesperson for University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust said: “This matter was raised with us yesterday (Thursday, August 29) and we will be in touch with the family to investigate their concerns.
“Like many hospitals, we have experienced higher numbers of patients accessing our services this year with more complex health requirements.
“We would like to apologise to anyone who has experienced delays and offer reassurance that UHCW is working with partners across Coventry and Warwickshire to ensure people get the care they need.
“Members of the public can help us by choosing the most appropriate NHS service for their condition. For example, people can visit a Walk In Centre, their GP or pharmacist for many minor illnesses or injuries.
“The Trust takes all feedback seriously and aims to continuously improve and evolve our services for patients.
“Patient care and safety are always our priorities and our teams are working around the clock to provide the best experience possible.”