Blackpool grandma waited 30 hours in A&E for hospital bed - only to be thrown out of it and put in a corridor hours later

A Blackpool grandmother suffering from a potentially deadly skin infection spent 30 hours on a drip in A&E waiting for a bed – only to be turfed out of it seven hours later and put in a corridor.

By Wes Holmes
Wednesday, 20th April 2022, 12:30 pm
Updated Wednesday, 20th April 2022, 2:24 pm

Elaine Reeves, 61, was admitted to A&E at Blackpool Victoria Hospital at 5.30pm on Monday shortly after attending an emergency appointment for cellulitis, caused by lymphedema as a result of past cancer treatment.

She was put on a drip and returned to the waiting room, where she remained until 11pm on Tuesday, when a bed finally became available.

But just seven hours later, at around 6am this morning (April 20), she was removed from her bed and put in corridor – where she remains as of 10am, waiting for a place on a ward.

A&E department at Blackpool Victoria Hospital Photo: Kelvin Stuttard

Tearfully, she said: “I’m just deflated. I’m quite emotional. I’m sat on a corridor, I’m absolutely exhausted. I just don’t know what to say or do. Nobody should be treated like this.

“It’s not the staff’s fault, they work so hard, but this situation is awful. Thirty hours sat in one chair.

“I thought I got a bed last night, then this morning they told me I’m moving again, and here I am sat in a corridor on a different ward.

“You just feel worthless. Something needs to be done.

Elaine Reeves

“All I can do is wait here for a bed, and they dont know when I’ll get it. I’m waiting for a blood test and now I’m sat here wondering if I will even get it. I’ve been quite positive until now. But now I’ve lost confidence in everything.”

Elaine, a grandma-of-14 who works as a healthcare assistant, was taken to hospital by her husband, David – but he was not allowed to wait with her due to Covid-19 safety rules, and was only allowed to visit to deliver a change of clothes.

David, who lives with Elaine on Grasmere Road, said: “She has no dignity, no privacy. Theres nowhere for her to change her clothes. She was sat in the same clothes for two days. There's nowhere to wash. There’s no hot food. She's only been offered a sandwich and a drink of water. She took it because that's all there was.

Elaine's husband David Reeves

“They found her a bed at 11pm, and got her up at 6am, shoved her back in a chair and wheeled her into a corridor. I think it’s absolutely disgusting.

"There's lots of people in there in the same situation, who were there before my wife. There was an old lady who was 91 and an old man who was 92, they’d been in A&E all day on Monday and they'd not even been offered a drink. This was at 10pm.

“(Elaine) should be in a bed. They’ve got her on a drip. She was sat down on a chair for over 30 hours; her ankles swelled up like balloons. This morning she said they were down a bit because she managed to get a bed and a bit of a sleep. Now she’s back in a chair.

“It is totally disgusting and people shouldn’t be made to sit in chairs for hours on end.”

Pete Murphy, executive director of nursing, didwifery, AHPs and quality at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals, said: “The Trust remains very busy due to a range of factors which are reflected nationally at every hospital. These include consistently high levels of COVID-19 in the community with 88 positive inpatients cared for by our Trust currently, continued high numbers of visitors to our Emergency Department and staff sickness levels.

“We continue to do all we can with every one of our colleagues going above and beyond to provide the highest levels of care. We are always keen to hear about the experience of our patients and their families, both good and, in particular, where it could have been better to help us learn and implement improvements. We would encourage people to contact us directly to raise and discuss their concerns.”