Patient’s nine-hour wait in A&E ‘unacceptable’

By David Spereall
Local Democracy Reporter

CLAIMS have emerged that a hospital patient had to wait nine hours in Dewsbury Hospital’s A&E department before being seen.

Kirklees councillor Yusra Hussain said she had been approached about the incident and raised the issue at a health scrutiny meeting.

Local NHS bosses described the delay as “unacceptable” and “unusual”.

A&E departments are supposed to treat at least 95 per cent of patients within four hours of them arriving, but under-resourced hospitals across the UK have had issues hitting that target this year.

Speaking during a discussion about the state of local hospital care, Coun Hussain, who represents Batley West, said: “I’ve been contacted by one patient who said they were waiting in A&E for nine hours at Dewbury Hospital.

“I’m certainly concerned by the level of access.

“I had another lady who came to me with her husband and told me that her husband had slipped a disc and there were only two consultants working in A&E at that time. 

“They were waiting so long to be seen but in the end they had to leave because they were so badly treated.

“I don’t blame the staff because I know they will be under so much pressure and I’m aware that patients can discharge themselves but I think the fact there were only two consultants working is quite dire really.”

In response, the local NHS said Dewsbury Hospital had a strong track record in treating patients quickly.

Dr David Kelly, chairman of the North Kirklees Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “The performance at Dewsbury Hospital is really good, in terms of the amount of time people have to wait to be seen in A&E. 

“Clearly, if someone has to wait nine hours that is unacceptable, but it’s difficult to comment on individual cases.”

The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, said it was happy to look into the incident if more details were provided.

Speaking after the meeting, chief executive Martin Barkley, said: “The four-hour A&E waiting time target set by NHS Constitutional Standards last year was 95 per cent.

“Our A&E department at Dewsbury and District Hospital last year achieved 93.5 per cent of patients being seen within four hours. This is an excellent level of performance.

“If the councillor is able to provide further information about her constituent’s experience, we will gladly investigate why on this occasion they experienced such a delay, which is extremely unusual and outside of usual performance at Dewsbury Hospital.”

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