Wait On Hospital Trolley A Disgrace, Says Grieving Son

A man whose 85-year-old mother died after spending 29 hours on a hospital trolley his described the treatment she received as “totally unacceptable”. Betty Morgan died in December last year after being admitted to the trauma unit at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff suffering from severe arthritic pains.

But she died the day after she was admitted, shortly after finally being given a bed on a ward.

In a letter to Assembly Health Minister Brian Gibbons, Alan Morgan, of Barry, said, “I am writing to you on behalf of the family of Betty Morgan to complain in the strongest possible terms over the totally unacceptable suffering our mother had to endure when both the paramedics and her GP agreed her condition necessitated immediate transfer to the Heath Hospital.

“For anyone, let alone an elderly lady of 85 in extreme agony, to have to wait 29 hours on a trolley bed and 36 hours from the original 999 call, before being transferred to a ward, is without question a disgrace. She died within hours of eventually being found a bed.

“This is not a complaint against individual staff of the A&E trauma unit who did their best under the circumstances, but as time passed, were obviously becoming embarrassed over the lack of available beds. Our mother desperately needed to be transferred to a ward, where the appropriate monitoring and treatment could be undertaken and she would have had the comfort and dignity she deserved.

“Our complaint is about the disgraceful lack of investment in providing the resources and staffing levels necessary for an efficient health care service.”

A spokeswoman for Cardiff and Vale NHS Trust said the Trust was very sorry for Mr Morgan’s loss. “We take all complaints we receive very seriously, and we are carrying out a full investigation into the complaint we received from Mr Morgan in January. We will send a full response as soon as this investigation has been completed.”

The Trust was unable to comment further pending an inquest on Mrs Morgan’s death at the end of the month, she said.