Eight-hour wait 'in agony' for OAP

A WOMAN of 86 was forced to sit in agony for eight hours in a chair at a top flagship hospital because staff were too busy to treat her.

A WOMAN of 86 was forced to sit in agony for eight hours in a chair at a top flagship hospital because staff were too busy to treat her.

Barbara Norman, from Diss, was admitted to the hospital by her GP after being very ill for weeks.

But when the traumatised OAP arrived at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, there were no beds available despite the fact she was in a lot of pain and barely conscious.

Her distraught daughter, Wendy Norman, 46, said her mother was “almost passing out” by the time she was seen eight hours later when it emerged she had a urinary tract infection and two kidney stones.

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Wendy said: “I kept asking how long staff would be but everyone just seemed too busy. I was furious.”

When she was eventually given a bed and moved to her ward her daughter described her treatment as “exemplary”.

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Wendy was so upset by her mother's treatment she has written to Paul Forden, the chief executive of the N&N.

She has also protested to the Department of Health who suggested she should refer the case to the national Health Ombudsman.

Wendy, of Norwich, said the day the drama happened, on April 1, there was a patient on a trolley who said they had been there all day and staff were “rushed off their feet”.

She said: “My mother was by no means alone waiting for a bed. The unit was packed.”

She added: “The PCT has recently closed a number of community beds and I feel that these have been closed prematurely without anything in their place.

"Maybe if these were still available for hospital transfers, beds would have been available on acute wards for admissions.”

The N&N has admitted it needed to tackle the problem of bed blocking after revealing more than 17,000 “bed days” were lost last year.

A Freedom of Information (FOI) request showed during the last financial year (2007/2008) 17,882 days were lost.

That was almost double the previous year when 9,170 days were wasted because of delays in transfers of care, meaning thousands of vulnerable patients could be missing out on vital care and treatment.

A hospital spokesman said: “If anyone has any concerns about the care we provide we are very happy to discuss that directly with them.

"The Healthcare Commission last week reported that our patients rated the quality of care here very highly with the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital rated the best general hospital in the country.

"However, if someone feels we have not delivered the standard that they would expect then we are sorry and we would encourage them to raise any concerns with us so that we can deal with them.”

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