A PENSIONER from Rhyl has told of her 32-hour wait in the Emergency Department (ED) at Glan Clwyd Hospital, Bodelwyddan, which resulted in her discovering she had stayed there “for nothing”.

The woman, who asked not to be named, said she arrived at the hospital to see a cardiologist at 9am on March 16, before being directed to its ED waiting area.

She said she was then not told that she could return home until roughly 5pm the following day.


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The pensioner said: “I had an appointment with my cardiologist, but they couldn’t get me a bed on their ward.

“So, they said that they were really sorry, but they’d have to send me through the A&E route because it would be quicker that way.

“I went to A&E straight away – a porter came and fetched me in a wheelchair as they felt I was too unwell to walk to A&E, as they thought I could have possibly been having a heart attack.

“I was just kept there (in the ED waiting area) for 32 hours.”

She was accompanied in the waiting area by her partner who, at one stage, returned home in order to bring her food, a flask of tea, and clean clothes.

Though the pensioner said the staff who saw to her were “brilliant” with her, she was bemused as to why she was not told she could leave until 4pm on March 17, when many of her tests were completed by 2pm on March 16.

She said she was left waiting for another test, only for it to be decided that she could proceed with it as an outpatient, rather than be kept in hospital.

The woman added: “They did quite a few tests on me, and were brilliant with me, but what I’m upset about is that all of the tests were done by 2pm on the 16th, but I wasn’t sent home until the following day at 4-5pm.

“For more than 24 hours, I sat there for nothing.

“After 32 hours, a doctor said they’d do the other test with me as an outpatient, so sent me home. So, the whole time I waited, I didn’t even need to be there.

“I had asked if I could go home, but they said I was too unstable to. So, we just sat there, all night, for nothing. The extra stress that it caused…

“I wasn’t the only one - there were people in their 80s, sitting on chairs all night. I know they’re busy, and they haven’t got many beds, but what was the need in keeping us all in A&E?

“Some of the staff are absolutely amazing, but I just think that, if there was somebody organising things better, people wouldn’t have to be sitting there for that long.”

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In response, Dr Nick Lyons, executive medical director at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, apologised to the pensioner for her lengthy wait.

The health board, which covers the North Wales region, was placed back in special measures in late February.

Dr Lyons said: “Our EDs across North Wales remain extremely busy, resulting in much longer waiting times than we would like, despite the best efforts of our nursing and medical staff.

“We would like to apologise to this patient for her lengthy wait and urge her to contact us directly with her concerns.

“We continue to face challenges to discharge patients from hospital to suitable accommodation or care services.

“This does impact flow through the entire hospital system, and our ability to bring patients into and through the ED in a timely manner, and we continue to work with our health and social care partners to improve this.

“We would urge the public to continue to help us by choosing the right service for their needs.

“Patients who do not need full emergency treatment may find that they can get appropriate advice and care from other NHS services, including GP surgeries, minor injury units and local pharmacies. Please visit the Health Board website or contact NHS 111 for advice if you are unsure where to go.”

Dr James Davies, MP for Vale of Clwyd, extended his sympathies to the woman for the struggles she faced last week.

He said: “I am very sorry to hear of this lady’s ordeal. Inspections of the local ED have highlighted the need for significant organisational improvements.

“It remains vital that both the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board and Welsh Government should treat this matter as a priority.”