Health inspectors have condemned a “chaotic” hospital emergency department at the Queen Alexandra Hospital, Portsmouth which they said was failing to keep patients safe. The Care Quality Commission (CQC) found long queues of ambulances outside the hospital in Portsmouth, while patients with serious symptoms waited hours to be assessed. The CQC inspectors, who visited in February and March, gave the hospital an overall rating of “inadequate” and said the emergency department was “chaotic” with an “unacceptable” risk to patients.
At times, sixteen ambulances were stacking up outside the department, representing a third of the emergency ambulance fleet for Hampshire. Inspectors found on 11 occasions, there were no ambulances available to respond to 999 calls.
Vulnerable patients including frail pensioners were left in ambulances for more than two hours. Waiting times were among the worst in England with almost a third of patients waiting more than four hours to be treated.
Patients with suspected life-threatening conditions such as stroke or sepsis were not assessed quickly, and one patient with potential heart failure waited more than five hours for a first assessment. The CQC said the trust had been slow to improve despite warnings and had to take “immediate action” to protect patients.
Sian Thompson, Associate Solicitor at Medical Accident Group, said: “Whilst we appreciate that the NHS is under increasing pressure it is not acceptable for patients to be exposed to such poor care. Patients attending A&E often have critical and life threatening injuries or conditions where every minute counts. It is simply unacceptable for patients to be queuing outside a hospital in Ambulances for a number of hours”
If A&E queues or inadequate medical care have affected you, Medical Accident Group can help. We have a team of dedicated clinical negligence solicitors, with over 30 years’ experience, who will guide you through the process of making a claim. If you believe you have a claim, call the team now on 0800 050 1668.