Angry Alvechurch councillor tells of ordeal at hospital

By Ian Dipple Friday 12 April 2013 Updated: 15/04 13:07

A COUNCILLOR suffering with pneumonia discharged herself home after waiting eight hours in A&E to be admitted to the Alexandra Hospital.

Coun June Griffiths said she took the decision after staff told her they could not guarantee when a bed would become available. She had been left in a room within the casualty department and claimed she had not been offered anything to eat or drink while she was there.

Mrs Griffiths’ ordeal started on Sunday (April 7) when she was rushed to the Woodrow Drive hospital about 11.30am after her husband had dialled 999. The Alvechurch councillor had been unwell in the days before and was receiving antibiotics from her GP but had begun to cough up blood and at the time paramedics suspected she may have had TB.

On arrival at A&E she was seen by a doctor who carried out some tests and took blood but she said apart from a visit from a nurse to take her blood pressure she was then left to wait for hours without being checked on.

The Bordesley resident said the A&E department was extremely busy and she noticed on two occasions at least five patients on trolleys waiting in the corridor to be seen.

Eventually her daughter spoke to the Sister in charge who told Mrs Griffiths she did not know when there would be a bed available or when the registrar would be available to give her tests results. She also raised concerns about the cleanliness of the room, toilets and overall rundown appearance of the unit.

About 9pm Mrs Griffiths decided to send herself home.

The day after Mrs Griffiths rang her doctor who visited her at home and said she needed to be admitted to hospital immediately. After refusing to return to the Alex she was taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham where she was kept in for a day and treated for a lung infection and pneumonia before being released home on Wednesday.

Coun Griffiths said the standard of care she received at the Alex was unacceptable and people deserved better.

“When you go into hospital you need to feel comforted, secure, you need to feel wherever you are they are doing their best for you and you are going to get the right treatment and none of those things happened to me,” she said.

“If this happened to me then it must be happening to others.

“The QE was a well run hospital with well motivated staff and that’s what the Alex should be, they are both NHS hospitals, people deserve that.”

Stewart Messer, chief operating officer at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust which runs the Alex, said both Saturday and Sunday had been exceptionally busy with 344 people arriving at A&E over the two days with 88 being admitted compared to an average of 275 attendances and 68 admissions.

“We are sorry to hear Councillor Griffiths did not receive the standard of care she expected at the Alexandra Hospital and we will be contacting her to talk to her about her experience.”

Bromsgrove MP Sajid Javid said he was concerned about Coun Griffiths experience and had requested a meeting with Trust chief executive Penny Venables to discuss the situation.

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