Hospital’s apology over trolley wait

Antrim Area Hospital
Antrim Area Hospital

A nursing director has apologised to a dying, elderly woman who spent 15 hours on a hospital trolley before a bed became available.

The 83-year-old cancer sufferer, who is terminally ill and extremely frail, was taken to the Antrim Area Hospital for treatment around 5pm on Tuesday, her daughter said.

The patient’s family said they were shocked at how long their mother spent in the busy emergency department.

Her daughter, who did not wish to be named, told the BBC: “She has lung cancer. It’s just dreadful – imagine lying 15 hours on a hospital trolley.”

The Northern Health Trust’s director of nursing apologised for the bed wait but said she was “satisfied” with the nursing care that the patient received.

“I spoke with this lady myself at lunchtime, I will seek her family out this evening and I will certainly apologise,” Olive McCloud told the BBC’s Evening Extra programme.

“It’s not the standard I want for our patients, but I am satisfied that she did get the clinical treatment and the nursing care she deserved while she waited for a bed in our ward.”

The family became concerned about their mother after she developed a cough while she was at home, and her palliative care team visited and advised the family that their mother required hospital treatment.

Ms McCloud added: “This is not the experience I want for any of our patients, however I am satisfied that her treatment plan was started immediately. She got the medication she required, she got the nursing care she required – the department was very busy.”

The trust said 1,041 people had attended Antrim’s emergency department between 10pm on Friday and 10am on Wednesday.