A 93 year old former nurse who was awarded an MBE for her services to the NHS was left in a hospital corridor for six days.
Enid Stevens was admitted to hospital after fracturing her spine while putting on her slippers at home.
When she arrived at A&E within St James Hospital in Leeds she never expected she have to wait six hours to be seen, places in a cubicle for another five hours in her urine-soaked clothes.
When Enid was finally given a ward bed, she imagined her ordeal was over and she could settle in to begin her medical treatment and recovery.
Then on the fourth night in the middle of the night at 2am she was woken up and moved to a corridor and kept there for six days.
Enid has admitted that what has happened to her was the ‘most degrading thing I’ve ever experienced’.
“I worked in the NHS from the age of 18 until I retired when I was 59 and every second of that time I was stood up on my feet – I didn’t get an MBE for nothing.
“But I’m not blaming the hospital or the staff there – you have to see it for yourself.
“The place was absolutely heaving – as soon as you ask a nurse to do one thing she’s stopped by someone else to do something else.”
She continued: “There used to be convalescent homes for elderly patients to recover after hospital treatment but the government got rid of them years ago.
“It’s all in A&E and there’s nowhere to put people except in the corridor. I’m just lucky I had my daughter to go backwards and forwards for everything.”
The nurse was awarded an MBE in 1983 for services to Seacroft Hospital in Leeds
She was admitted to hospital via Ambulance on the 6th March saying “I was soaked-through with urine in my clothes – it was like a nightmare.
“A nurse passed by so I asked her for some clean clothes but she never came back so I sat there for five hours wet-through.”
She was moved to a ward and then a corridor “That’s where I was left for six days.
“I was blocking the entrance to a doctor’s consultation room so I had to be shoved out of the way when the doctors brought patients’ families in to speak with them”
Her daughter Barbara Brook said: “Mum was right next to where they kept the apron and mask dispensers and the staff had to lean over her to get them.
“It was so upsetting for her – just awful really.”
Julian Hartley, Chief Executive of the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “Our communication with Mrs Stevens and her family during her stay should have been better and I sincerely apologise for her experience of care.
“Mrs Stevens was cared for in a non-designated bed space for longer than is acceptable and I am sorry that we weren’t able to move her to a dedicated bed space during her stay.
“Unfortunately there are pressures across the whole health and social care system which impact on our ability to discharge some patients who need further non-hospital support or care.”
“Regrettably we sometimes have to move some patients to a non-designated bed space for a temporary period of time.
“This is so we can meet the needs of patients who require closer clinical observation and monitoring.”