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23 April 2015

Accident & Emergency departments under pressure

The growing pressure on Accident & Emergency Departments in UK hospitals was highlighted in the news last week when a medical incident officer, usually on call for major disasters, was called in to help staff at a busy A&E department at Worcestershire Royal Hospital.

In what was called an “unprecedented” move by a spokesman for the West Midlands Ambulance Service, staff demanded action following long delays in treatment. The doctor cared for eight patients including one who had been waiting for five hours with chest pains, and another who had been left for four hours following a seizure.

This is the first time a medical officer has been deployed to a hospital in the West Midlands; the last time a medical incident officer was called out was in October last year to a major firework warehouse fire in which two men died.

Inadequate sized departments and an increase in the number of walk-in patients and admissions means a growing number of A&E Departments across the country are feeling the strain and only the sickest patients are treated properly with many left waiting in corridors for treatment.

In January, Paramedic Stuart Gardner highlighted the issue with overcrowding in corridors at Worcester and in February five emergency specialists who left the trust claimed overcrowding had caused “serious harm” to many patients.

An inspection of the emergency department has been carried out by the Quality Care Commission and they will publish a report with their findings.

Longdens Director Neil Heavisides comments:

Here at Longdens we take on a significant number of cases for a whole array of issues arising from poor accident and emergency care. These include missed scaphoid (wrist) fractures, inadequate leg fracture (such as tibia or fibula) repairs, poor management of intra cranial hypertension, missed glaucoma (often leading to blindness), failures in the management of high sodium and/or potassium levels and a failure to spot conditions such as subdural hematomas, detached retinas, slipped femoral epiphysis, shoulder fractures, cauda equina syndrome, acute appendicitis, DVT, spinal fractures and so on.

Over the years we have built up a large network of expert witnesses to assist in these types of cases and have recovered millions of pounds in compensation for our clients all over the country.

Although Accident and Emergency departments are increasingly under pressure, patients should still receive care to a high standard. If you or a loved one have suffered negligence during a visit to A&E, Longdens Solicitors may be able to help. We provide specialist legal advice and can deal with your clinical negligence claim as soon as possible.

For more information or for a free consultation, contact us via our online enquiry form. Alternatively, request a callback and we’ll be in touch. You will be under no obligation, and will not be charged for our initial advice session.