"Waited for admission for an unacceptable time"

About: Broomfield Hospital

I have attended Broomfield A&E with my elderly Mother on two occasions during the last six weeks. On both occasions she required admission to a ward. On both visits I can not fault the nursing staff or the A&E doctor, or the medical physician that saw my Mother. All were polite, seemed genuine and explained the care and treatment they were giving. My biggest concern is that my mother waited almost 10 hours in A&E for admission to the EAU ward. She was given food and drink and put on a bed in the room in the A&E, albeit with blankets used as a pillow as there were not any. Most worryingly I saw other people arrive and leave the department to go to the wards in front of my mother. When I asked the nurse in charge of the A&E about this he told me he had no control over the allocation of the beds and it was the management that decided this. Not happy about this I spoke to another nurse more junior and one of the security porters. I was shocked with what they told me and, regrettably, I have good reason to believe they were reluctantly telling the truth. They both concurred that as beds became available they would be given to patients who had been there less than four hours. This would make the figures look good and those that had already been there over four hours would get a bed on a ward eventually. I do believe my Mother was left to wait longer for the sake of massaging bureaucratic figures. Whilst I can not fault the care she received, I am left deeply disturbed about what the priorities really are. I don't wish to appear high and mighty, but I am following this up through the appropriate channels. If my Mother becomes unwell again, given her frailty, this is likely, I will drive her to the A&E in Southend instead.

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