Hospital bosses must look at staffing over A&E queues says MP

ANGRY Pam Bailey, 90, who had to wait on a trolley in Queen Alexandra Hospital for five hours. Picture: Allan Hutchings (13329-598)
ANGRY Pam Bailey, 90, who had to wait on a trolley in Queen Alexandra Hospital for five hours. Picture: Allan Hutchings (13329-598)
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AN MP has weighed into the case of a 90-year-old dementia sufferer’s five-hour wait in a hospital corridor, saying staff numbers and finances must be addressed.

Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt said Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham needs to look at its finances so that it can properly serve patients at A&E.

As reported in The News yesterday Pam Bailey, of Alexander Grove in Fareham, was made to wait on a trolley in a corridor at QA Hospital after being taken to A&E by ambulance on doctor’s orders.

She was with her daughter Pauline Taylor, 64, of Weevil Lane, Gosport and was periodically monitored by hospital staff but was left confused and frustrated after the marathon wait on January 29.

Concerned Ms Mordaunt said she has already spoken to the minister of state for health about the hospital’s finances.

As reported previously, the Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, has asked the government for a £7.5m loan in its bid to qualify for Foundation Trust status.

Ms Mordaunt said: ‘Other hospitals in the same situation as QA are managing better because they’ve been smarter about how they’ve organised themselves.

‘On its current trajectory it’s in financial difficulty.’

She added the hospital should look at its PFI and how to generate income but that it did not seem as if the hospital would do so.

She said: ‘It absolutely shouldn’t happen, if she was left without proper care and attendance, particularly as a dementia sufferer, then it’s absolutely appalling.

‘It’s not that there isn’t the space there for beds, it’s actually about the numbers doctors and nurses they’ve got on.

‘We’ve got to make that hospital be able to wash its face so it can actually make sensible decisions about how it staffs its wards.’

The hospital has increasingly failed to meet its target of treating 95 per cent of patients within four hours at A&E, according to board papers used by trustees to monitor performance.

The hospital did not comment on the MP’s remarks.

It has taken action to address the problem.

That includes sending those aged over 65 to a Community Assessment Lounge to help reduce the number of patients attending A&E, and the phone number 111 which can direct people to an appropriate service.

A spokeswoman reiterated the hospital’s previous statement.

She said: ‘We make every effort to ensure patient experience is of a high standard and place patients at the centre of everything we do.

‘We strive to ensure that patients coming into the Emergency Department are seen within four hours of arrival, however we have recently experienced an unprecedented increase in attendances to the department.’

Due to confidentiality the hospital could not comment on the details of Mrs Bailey’s case.