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Trained midwife slams 'shambles' A and E after nine hour bed wait
A TRAINED midwife who was in urgent need of an operation has labelled Stoke Mandeville Hospital's A and E a 'shambles' after waiting for nine hours without a bed.
Lizzie Steel, 27, from The Pastures, Downley, who had acute appendicitis, was disgusted after she spent 16 hours at the hospital on September 3 before surgery.
The mother-of-one has also blasted the fact that Minor Injuries and Illness Unit misdiagnosed her with a muscular problem the evening before, rather than the serious condition, which if untreated can be fatal.
Mrs Steel explained her GP had rung the hospital ahead, believing she did need her appendix removed, but it took five hours before a junior doctor saw her after arriving at 6pm.
It took another four hours before she got a bed, she said, during which time she was given insufficient pain relief and received no observations. Having trained as a midwife she said there was much more that could have been done for her.
Mrs Steel said the only reason she got a bed at all was after her emotions boiled over and she tearfully remonstrated with reception staff.
Having been told there were no beds, she was shown through to four empty ones.
She said: "It was only when I burst into tears and started shouting at the reception that he led me to a whole row of beds."
Shortly after, however, she was moved again by what she claimed was a 'rude' member of staff.
Mrs Steel, who works at a school, dreads to think what could have happened to her.
"Every hour counts (with this condition), it could burst at any moment," she said.
"It was an absolutely shambles at the time, I was in such pain.
"I was in absolutely agony I didn't know what was wrong.
"It was on my right side on my abdomen stabbing horrific pain.
"The police were there with someone and it was a horrible environment.
"I was extremely emotional and couldn't stand up for myself. The next day when I came around I was so appalled and outraged."
Neil Dardis, Chief Operating Officer & Deputy Chief Executive, said: "We are sorry to hear that Mrs Steel was not happy with the care she received at Stoke Mandeville and apologise for the delay she experienced.
“We understand staff at the trust have already spoken to Mrs Steel regarding some of her concerns, however, we urge Mrs Steel to contact us again if she wishes to discuss further.
"It is absolutely our aim to ensure that patients receive the highest quality care and we take all feedback from patients and relatives very seriously.
"We recognise that the experience of every patient counts and are sorry if we did not get it right on this occasion."
The trust continues to improvement services, he added, and since April has been meeting the four hour A and E waiting time target.
A statement from Bucks Urgent Care, in charge of the MIIU, read: “Medical professionals accept that appendicitis is notoriously difficult to diagnose as its symptoms are very similar to many more routine problems in the abdominal area.
"We always advise a patient to either call us again if the problem worsened or to contact their own GP if that would be more appropriate.
“If any patient has concerns about the care that they have received at any of our centres, we always encourage them to contact us to discuss it further. This does not seem to have happened in this case.”
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