Woman spends nine days in A&E in stroke unit wait

Home UK News Woman spends nine days in A&E in stroke unit wait
Woman spends nine days in A&E in stroke unit wait

Mark Norman,BBC South East Health Correspondent

Family photograph A stroke patient is consoled by her husband after waiting nine days in A&EFamily photograph

Family seen here consoling the woman in A&E said the situation was a “scandal”

A stroke patient who waited more than 36 hours on a trolley at a Brighton hospital stayed in A&E for nine days, the BBC has learned.

Last week, friends said the patient was taken by ambulance to the Royal Sussex County Hospital just after 18:00 BST on 19 May and was still on a trolley in A&E 36 hours later.

The elderly woman then waited for more than a week to be admitted to a specialist stroke unit at the hospital, her family said.

University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust said staff sometimes struggled to move patients to the right ward space and apologised to anyone affected.

The BBC understands the woman was moved to the acute admissions unit (AAU) from the emergency department last week.

In the AAU, care is provided by a consultant-led team and therapy team to ensure patients receive the right specialist care.

The woman’s family said she was moved into a stroke unit at 14:00 BST on Wednesday 29 May.

‘Quiet and uncomplaining’

On 19 May, the woman had suffered a substantial stroke at the Amex Stadium just after 18:00 BST and was admitted to hospital just over 90 minutes later.

Her family said Brighton’s new £500m hospital had a stroke unit staffed by specialists, but their mother, on arrival, was given contradictory advice from clinicians regarding the implications of a clot-removing thrombolysis.

The family said she remained in the hospital’s assessment unit, next to the A&E department, where the staff were “helpful and kind” and so, too, were the stroke specialists who visited her.

But relatives said staff had told them the problem was bed-blocking by other patients ready to be discharged.

The family said their “quiet and uncomplaining” mother, severely disabled by her stroke, had whiled away her days in a general care unit, and the specialist support she needed had barely begun.

Describing the situation as a “scandal”, they said: “The effects this delay in treatment will have on the rest of her life remain to be seen.”

Siobhan Murray, managing director for unscheduled care at the NHS trust, said: “Our staff sometimes struggle to move patients into the right ward space because we are unable to free up beds quickly enough – that is a poor experience for patients, and we would apologise to anyone who is affected.

“Our teams do brilliant work to ensure that patients still get the right support, wherever they are, but we know that such experiences are not what people should accept.”

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