A&E problems may have caused man’s agonising 3½ hour ambulance wait

South Wales Argus: AGONISING: Frank Miles waiting for the ambulance on the decking in the rain at the Waterloo Hotel in Newport AGONISING: Frank Miles waiting for the ambulance on the decking in the rain at the Waterloo Hotel in Newport

PROBLEMS at a hospital's A&E may have led to a Gwent man waiting on a floor for three hours and 35 minutes for an ambulance, it has been revealed.

The Argus reported earlier this month that Frank Miles, 69 of Magor, lay on the decking in the rain at the Waterloo Hotel in Newport with a fractured left kneecap while he waited for an ambulance on June 6.

Newport East AM John Griffiths said he and Mr Miles' wife Christine Miles have now met officials from the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust at its Cwmbran office.

Mr Griffiths said one of the main issues on the day was that ambulances were tied up at the Royal Gwent Hospital's A&E department and weren't able to discharge their patients because of the lack of beds at the hospital.

It wasn't possible to divert ambulances as the difficulties extended elsewhere to other local hospitals, he said.

"Given that the ambulances were waiting at the hospital they wouldn't have been able to attend Mr Miles," the AM added.

He has raised the issue with health minister Lesley Griffiths and said he would speak to the Anuerin Bevan Health Board.

Mrs Miles said her husband is home and has progressed well, and that she was grateful for the meeting.

She said: "It's very difficult when the ambulance service are out between a rock and a hard place.

"If there's nowhere to put their patients they can't take their trolley back and go and get anyone else."

A spokesman for the Aneurin Bevan Health Board said: "The emergency department was busy throughout the afternoon of June 6 and ambulance crews did experience some delays handing over patients due to the urgent treatment being carried out in the department.

He said although it had seen compliance with the 15 minutes handover target time at both the Royal Gwent Hospital and Nevill Hall Hospital rise month on month, the trust does experience sudden peaks in activity which cause delays.

He added: "We regret these delays and work closely with colleagues in the Welsh Ambulance Services Trust to ensure such delays are kept to a minimum."

Comments (3)

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8:41am Thu 21 Jun 12

Bobevans says...

The Royal Gwents claims do not in my view add up. They claim that they generally meet the 15 minute target but this day they were busy. There were though no major incidents to account for a 3.5 hour delay.

The most likely cause is a failure of some sort at the Royal Gwent. Did they have adequate staff on duty? Were staff being used elesewhere?

The nature of A&E is that there will always be variable demand. Supermarkets can cope with variable demand why cannot A&E?

I suspect that they do not work on a flexible enough basis and stick to a very rigid system
The Royal Gwents claims do not in my view add up. They claim that they generally meet the 15 minute target but this day they were busy. There were though no major incidents to account for a 3.5 hour delay. The most likely cause is a failure of some sort at the Royal Gwent. Did they have adequate staff on duty? Were staff being used elesewhere? The nature of A&E is that there will always be variable demand. Supermarkets can cope with variable demand why cannot A&E? I suspect that they do not work on a flexible enough basis and stick to a very rigid system Bobevans
  • Score: 0

9:16am Thu 21 Jun 12

spanner100 says...

The situation gets worse!!. This week a 90 year old neighbour, from Cwmbran, fell and sustained several injuries.Guess which Hospital he was taken to?. No not the RGH,5 miles away but Nevill Hall, 15Miles away. Reason, apparently the RGH was jammed solid with Ambulances just parked up awaiting to be cleared by A&E. Yet another shambles.
The situation gets worse!!. This week a 90 year old neighbour, from Cwmbran, fell and sustained several injuries.Guess which Hospital he was taken to?. No not the RGH,5 miles away but Nevill Hall, 15Miles away. Reason, apparently the RGH was jammed solid with Ambulances just parked up awaiting to be cleared by A&E. Yet another shambles. spanner100
  • Score: 0

3:18pm Sat 23 Jun 12

valleysminx says...

This is all too sadly no great surprise. The Royal Gwent seems to be suffering acute bed shortages in all departments and not just A&E.

Patients are routinely left in pain for several hours while awaiting a bed. The shocking and outrageous are merely routine for the Gwent.
This is all too sadly no great surprise. The Royal Gwent seems to be suffering acute bed shortages in all departments and not just A&E. Patients are routinely left in pain for several hours while awaiting a bed. The shocking and outrageous are merely routine for the Gwent. valleysminx
  • Score: 0

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