THE NHS TRUST running Dewsbury and District Hospital have said they are just about coping with the high demands of the winter period – despite an MP revealing photos of patients lying on the floor in corridors.
It emerged this week that tens of thousands of non-urgent NHS operations and procedures in England may be delayed until after January 31 because of an increase in the number of patients going to A&E departments.
Batley & Spen MP Tracy Brabin last night published photos sent to her showing patients lying on the floor in corridors at Pinderfields Hospital. Many people from North Kirklees are treated there after a 'reconfiguration' centralised care there and stripped Dewsbury Hospital of some services.
But hospital bosses said that the patients must have chosen to lay on the ground rather than sitting on chairs.
Labour MP Ms Brabin said: “I have been inundated with constituents telling me their difficulties of being treated over the festive period. With one stroke victim waiting over three hours for an ambulance it is understandable how clinicians are calling this the worst crisis they have ever seen.
“While we know staff are working flat out it is deeply troubling to hear Jeremy Hunt say that no patient is left on a trolley when clearly some are forced to wait on hospital floors before being treated. In my opinion this a deliberate and systematic underfunding, an ideological choice in preparation for continued NHS privatisation.”
David Melia, director of nursing and quality at the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust which runs Pinderfields and Dewsbury, said: “On Tuesday, January 2 we, like the rest of the country, experienced unprecedented demand on our emergency departments. Our staff worked tirelessly throughout the whole Christmas and New Year period to ensure our patients were safely treated in as timely a manner as possible.
“The Trust has received no complaints regarding the care of the two patients identified in the photographs, who may have chosen to lie down as seats were provided.
“Should visitors have any concerns about patient care they should speak to a member of staff at the time.”
Trudie Davies, director of operations for hospital services, said: “We are continually risk assessing capacity to ensure that we are able to safely treat both acute and elective patients.
“Our winter plan always factors in the reduction of elective activity during this period of winter in order to ensure safety is maintained as per the recent guidance that has been shared. Our teams are therefore able to prioritise providing care for the sickest patients.
“Our staff have worked and are continuing to work extremely hard over this very busy period, for which we are both profoundly grateful and proud.”
The Trust also warned residents to only call 999 or visit A&E for serious accidents and emergencies. Otherwise, phone NHS 111 which provides information and free medical advice.