Northampton General Hospital worker claims all wards are 'under immense pressure'

A man died at NGH after waiting for nine hours in the emergency department last week.
A man died at NGH after waiting for nine hours in the emergency department last week.

Following the death of an 85-year-old man who died at Northampton General Hospital on Friday, Chron readers have been speaking out about their time on the wards.

On Friday (March 9) news emerged about a pensioner passing away at NGH after waiting for nine hours in the accident and emergency department.

In a leaked email sent to staff - which the hospital has since said was speculation rather than fact - medical director Dr Matthew Metcalfe said the elderly man's death was a direct result of emergency department pressures.

Gemma Cotman said on Facebook: "I work at the hospital in a different department and everywhere is under immense pressure.

"The wards don’t even have enough nurses or healthcare assistants half the time either.

"I’m very sorry to hear of this poor man's death and my condolences go to his family but it isn’t the fault of the staff it’s down to the Government and people using the A&E department like it’s a drop-in GP.

"This is why they don’t have enough time to properly diagnose other patients half the time."

The 85-year-old is reported to have arrived at the emergency department at around 4pm on Thursday (March 8) with stomach pains. He was taken into triage and assessed an hour-and-a-half later as anaemic with a possible cardiac problem. The hospital had planned to give the man a blood transfusion.

But NGH revealed the man died just before 1am after his condition deteriorated.

A statement from NGH said a 30 per cent year-on-year rise in the number of people presenting at the emergency department had had an impact on patient safety.

Rosemary Chandler said on social media: "I was at A&E on Tuesday night [two days before the incident] and I’ve never seen it so busy. I take my hat off to all the nurses and doctors who were run off their feet but always maintained a smile.

"Maybe the Government need to be there to see what they have done to our NHS."

The leaked email from Dr Metcalfe said: “Last night, a patient died due entirely to the dangerous overcrowding of the department. The risk we have all been aware of, but may have felt hypothetical, has just happened.”

Marie Newberry was among several readers who said they had seen direct evidence of the overwhelmed accident and emergency department that day.

She said: "We were sent to A&E by the doctor for our little boy early on in the day [on the day of the incident] and even then there were elderly and others in beds in the halls.

"I feel for the family and friends of this gentleman and also for the department and the staff because they are so overrun.

"While 111 helps - people [ should] not ring 999 at the same time.

"They [doctors] have always sent us to A&E even when I've asked to see out of hours doctor etc, which is why I'm no longer using that service. With the cuts and lack of support from Government, we as patients, need to help our service as much as we can."