Advertisement

Investigation launched after death of mother found under coat in packed A&E during seven-hour wait

Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, which operates Queen’s Medical Centre, has launched an investigation into the incident (PA Wire)
Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, which operates Queen’s Medical Centre, has launched an investigation into the incident (PA Wire)

A hospital trust has apologised and launched an investigation into the death of a mother who was found unconscious under her coat during a seven-hour wait in A&E.

The woman arrived at Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham on the evening of 19 January as she had been suffering from a severe headache.

She died two days later in intensive care from a brain haemorrhage, LBC reported.

The 39-year-old was seen by nurses three times and had her case escalated once she was triaged. However, it was assumed she had left the department after she failed to respond to her name being called several times.

She was later found unconscious underneath her coat and rushed to intensive care where she died on 22 January.

Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, which operates the hospital, has launched an investigation into the incident.

Dr Keith Girling, the medical director, said: “I offer my sincere condolences to the family at this difficult time.

“An investigation, which will involve the family, will now take place and until this has been concluded, we are unable to comment further.”

Lilian Greenwood, the Labour MP for Nottingham South, told LBC that the death was “a disturbing incident” and supported an investigation into the incident.

It comes as it was revealed there has been a sharp rise in people facing long waits in A&E across the UK in January.

Hospitals are clearly under pressure as winter takes hold. The number of people waiting more than 12 hours in A&E departments, from the decision to admit them to actually being admitted, hit 54,308 in January, up sharply from 44,045 in December.

This is the second-highest figure on record, just below the record 54,573 in December 2022.

The number of people waiting at least four hours has also risen, from 148,282 in December to 158,721 last month – again, the second-highest figure on record.

Sarah Woolnough, chief executive of health and social care charity the King’s Fund, said of Thursday’s data that “waiting time standards set by the government – and expected by the public – are being consistently missed”.

She added: “It has been over eight years since the A&E target of 95 per cent of people being seen within four hours has been met nationally.”

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “Cutting waiting lists is one of the government’s top five priorities and, despite winter pressures and the impact of industrial action, overall NHS waiting lists have decreased for the third month in a row.

“We’re determined to continue improving patient care, having already delivered on our promise to create 5,000 extra permanent hospital beds and 10,000 hospital-at-home beds, freeing up capacity and cutting waiting times.”