LETTER: A 19-hour wait in A&E to start the new year

Doctors and nurses at work in the Accident and Emergency Department at Leeds General Infirmary. Picture by Anna Gowthorpe
Doctors and nurses at work in the Accident and Emergency Department at Leeds General Infirmary. Picture by Anna Gowthorpe

Having read your article about Dewsbury A&E over the festive period I felt I had to get in touch.

My mother-in-law is one of the constituents that MP Tracy Brabin refers to.

In the article it states that people were using A&E that didn’t need to.

I would like to point out my mother-in-law started with a common cold which left her with bad chesty cough.

I rang 111 at lunchtime on January 1 and asked for a doctor to visit as she is elderly and disabled.

We were contacted over five hours later and were advised that over 100 people were in front of us waiting for a doctor and that we would have to wait until the next day.

Within a couple of hours my mother-in-law deteriorated and we called 111 again.

This time they then sent an emergency ambulance. So, after trying to avoid putting pressure on our local A&E department, we were forced to use Dewsbury A&E.

I witnessed some shocking scene that evening in the department.

We were left waiting 19 hours for a place on a ward.

If people were using A&E unnecessarily then why was there a 19-hour wait for a bed on a ward?

It might explain the need to see an A&E doctor, but not on the wait to be found a bed.

Once on a ward I witnessed nursing staff left with no choice but to put two patients in a cubicle.

Christine Warrillow, by email