‘I was left for 18 hours in a Vic corridor’

Chris Maher
Chris Maher
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A resort hotelier said he plans to ‘sue the government’ after claiming he was left in a corridor at Blackpool Victoria Hospital for 18 hours.

Chris Maher, who moved to Blackpool from Wales to open the Touchwood Hotel a decade ago, also says vital scan results took almost a week to be transferred to Royal Preston Hospital.

The 62-year-old, of St Chad’s Road, said: “People were sitting in chairs that should have been in a bed, being moved two or three inches every so often.”

Mr Maher, who suffers from lupus, said he finally had surgery in Preston eight days after arriving at A&E – but said the delay could have cost him his life after the disease caused two blood clots in his leg.

Mr Maher said he arrived at the Victoria Hospital’s A&E department between 1.30am and 2am on Thursday, January 5, and was told he would have a scan at 7am.

He said 7am ‘came and went’, and he was only admitted to the Acute Medical Unit (AMU) at 8pm.

Mr Maher said he finally had a scan at around 1am on Friday – almost 24 hours after arriving at the emergency department – and was told shortly after he needed to be transferred to Preston for specialist treatment.

“You have three major arteries in your leg and two were blocked off completely,” he said. “My leg was becoming so dead you could have put a needle in and I would not have felt it.”

Mr Maher said he arrived by ambulance at Preston at around 4.30am, and was placed on a ward because no beds were available on the vascular unit.

He said he was told he would have an operation – but that plan fell through when his scan results failed to arrive from Blackpool.

Instead, he was put on a machine to thin his blood and, the following Wednesday, sent home, he claimed.

He said: “My circulation had improved and I was discharged. I went home and the pain came back. I couldn’t stand up so I called 111.”

The next day, the scan results arrived at Preston, Mr Maher said, and an ambulance took him into hospital for an operation, which he had the following day.

“I could have lost my leg or my life,” he said. “It’s about time MPs sat in hospitals to see what’s going on.

“I’m going to sue the government. I’m not doing it for the money but somebody has to do things to make things better.

“How much compensation will they pay someone like me before they get it right? I will give the money to a local hospice – I want a better service for people.”

A spokesman for Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “We have communicated with Mr Maher to try to resolve any concerns he may have.

“If he still has points he would like to raise, we would encourage him to contact us again.”

Karen Partington, chief executive at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Preston, added: “Our priority is to always provide the highest standards of compassionate, safe care that gives our patients a positive experience.

“If Mr Maher is not satisfied with the care he received, we would encourage him to contact our customer care department.”