A WOMAN whose elderly mother was left waiting in an ambulance for more than two hours said something must be done to solve the problems at a ‘chaotic’ A&E.
Shelley Gwilym said it was disgraceful her 80-year-old mum, who has terminal cancer, had to sit in an ambulance outside the emergency department at Queen Alexandra Hospital for nearly two-and-a-half hours.
We counted 15 ambulances waiting to handover patients and inside A&E it was chaos.Shelley Gwilym
A spokeswoman from South Central Ambulance Service confirmed there were 15 ambulances queueing at 9.15pm on New Year’s Day.
It also took nearly 24 hours for her mum to be placed on a ward at the Cosham hospital after a GP advised she needed hospital treatment for pneumonia.
Ms Gwilym, from Portchester, said: ‘The GP arranged for an ambulance to pick my mum up on New Year’s Day and take her to QA Hospital.
‘We were going to meet her there, but when we turned up she was sat in an ambulance.
‘We counted 15 of them waiting to hand over patients and inside A&E it was chaos.
‘There were people waiting in the corridor and my mum was moved between two different cubicles before finally getting a bed on a ward late on Monday night.
‘The staff are overworked and working flat out to see patients.
‘I saw a couple of them volunteer to stay on past their working hours just to help more patients. Someone needs to speak out to urge the NHS to do something and fix the problems.’
Ms Gwilym said she had lost confidence in the hospital’s ability to care for her mum after seeing how busy the staff were.
‘They don’t have enough time to look after so many patients,’ she said.
‘The work they do is great, but there isn’t enough of them.’
As previously reported in The News, 20 ambulances were queuing outside A&E on Monday and last Thursday the A&E department was closed for four hours with ambulances diverted.
A spokeswoman for Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs QA, said: ‘We have seen an increase in the numbers of both A&E attendances and direct admissions into our beds – resulting in extremely high demand across the hospital.
‘As usual during winter, we have also seen an increase in the severity of illness amongst our emergency admissions, which places additional pressure on our beds and emergency services.
‘We continue to work closely with our health and social partners across the healthcare system and with South Central Ambulance Service.’
The spokeswoman from Scas apologised for the long wait and said demand continued to be high.