Liverpool: Gran cried ‘I want to die’ while on trolley for 33 hours

A Liverpool hospital corridor was rammed with patients (Picture: Trinity)

A sick grandmother who was left lying on a hospital trolley for 33 hours told her family she wanted to die.

Graeme Smith shared the wrenching ordeal of getting his nan the help she needed on New Year’s Eve after she fell ill at her Liverpool care home.

Having waited hours for an ambulance, Smith then watched as paramedics queued outside Aintree Hospital as vehicles wrestled to drop off patients.

Graeme said: ‘She arrived at the hospital at 9pm but didn’t get a place on a ward until 6am on January 2. The rest of the time she was waiting on a hospital corridor with about 40 other elderly or very sick people.

‘They were all being treated as well as staff could manage, but a number of them were in distress. It was horrendous, to be honest.’

Staff struggled to help their patients left in the corridor, Graeme said, and his grandmother was among them.

‘She was very distressed after a while, she was crying and telling us she wanted to die. She was praying and asking to be taken,’ he said.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by James Veysey/Shutterstock (13694344j) Ambulance crew outside the Royal London Hospital, as new guidelines are brought in concerning the amount of time patients can stay in ambulances once they arrive at London hospitals. 3 Jan 2023 NHS crisis, London, UK - 03 Jan 2023

Scenes of ambulances queuing to drop off patients are becoming increasingly common (Picture: James Veysey/Shutterstock)

‘I’ve never heard her say anything like that before.’

He added: ‘The staff were trying their best, they were so apologetic. They are victims of this as well.

‘Seeing this made me angry and that anger should be directed at the government.’

At Royal Liverpool Hospital, a nurse said she took her grandmother, 88, to A&E just before midnight on New Year’s Eve – she was left on a trolley for 41 hours.

‘I was having to help other patients on the corridor, there were people crying out for help and others trying to climb off their trolley,’ the nurse said.

‘There is not enough staff to look after people and I think if we hadn’t been there to feed and water my grandma she could have died there.

File photo dated 03/10/14 of staff on a NHS hospital ward, as nurses and midwives were forced to take more than 225,000 days off because of mental health issues in the last year, new figures show. PA Photo. Issue date: Friday December 30, 2022. Figures obtained by the Scottish Liberal Democrats using freedom of information legislation show the equivalent of more than 621 years were lost in nursing and midwifery across Scotland's 14 health boards in 2021-22. See PA story SCOTLAND Nurses. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

The working conditions of NHS staff have been pulled into focus in recent months amid strike action (Picture: PA)

‘A tea trolley came by at 5pm on one evening, there was no one else who came until 11am the next day.’

I’d heard about how bad things are but to feel it first-hand has just really knocked me sick. I feel ashamed,’ she added.

‘This is a horrific situation, from the poor staff trying to do their best but mainly for our sick and elderly relatives. It could be you or your family one day.’

The NHS is in crisis, health leaders say. Staff shortages, years of government underfunding, too few beds, a patient backlog and dizzying ambulance waits are among some of the issues at hand.

Latest NHS figures for August last year show a record high of almost 7.21 million people waiting for emergency treatment – 2,910,000 million have waited more than 18 weeks.

The Royal College of Emergency Medicine estimates that 300 to 500 people a week are dying as a result of emergency care delays.

There are also just two beds for every 1,000 Brits, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

The Health Foundation think-tank found that NHS funding over the coming decade would need to grow at twice rate of the 2010s to meet expected demand. contacted Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust for comment.

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