Aintree Hospital slammed
The final year of the so-called 'Casualty Watch' by the Association of Community Health Councils in England and Wales (ACHCEW), which is soon to be abolished, brings shame for United Hospital Aintree NHS Trust, where a 90-year-old woman was reported to have waited for over 95 hours on a bed in casualty.
The report brings severe criticism for hospitals across the UK, where patients are 'warehoused' in assessment and observation units while waiting in A&E. Although the units' primary function is to house patients while they are physically assessed for admittance or discharge, the ACHCEW said that some patients were kept in the units simply because there was nowhere else to put them.
The report, which recorded the twenty longest waits across the country on Monday 20th May, found that as well as the 90-year-old woman, who had fallen and was experiencing pains in her right hip, was another startling case at Aintree. This time an 81-year-old woman with an injury to her foot had waited 47 hours to be seen. In total Aintree managed to get three mentions on the 'slow watch Top 20'.
Paul Birrell, the chief executive of Aintree Hospital NHS Trust, has hit back by branding the reports 'inaccurate', claiming that the woman was seen within an hour of arrival and then underwent treatment to raise her blood sugar levels. Nevertheless, this episode will undoubtedly call for a severe shake-up and revision of the hospital's working practices.