QUESTIONS over the ability of an A&E department to cope have been raised after more patients slammed waiting times.
A woman with severe breathing difficulties was left at Queen Elizabeth Hospital for five hours without treatment while a man suffering a suspected heart attack likened the A&E department to a scene from Korean war movie MASH.
Their stories will increase concern over the the Woolwich hospital after Sidcup’s Queen Mary’s A&E department was shut down temporarily in November on safety grounds.
And John Watson from resident-run Bexley Council Monitoring Group has written to MP James Brokenshire urging him to invite Prime Minister David Cameron to visit Queen Elizabeth Hospital and see the problems.
Brendan Dorey, 68, was taken by ambulance to the A&E on January with a suspected heart attack.
The Kidbrooke Way resident says he had to fight for a seat in the waiting room, took three hours to be seen by a nurse and a further two to be seen by a doctor.
While waiting he saw a man’s wound burst open, leaving blood on the floor which was not cleaned up for at least five minutes.
He said: “That hospital quite obviously can’t cope.
“It was like a scene from MASH.
“I could've dropped dead and they wouldn’t have given a toss.”
Mr Dorey was told he had angina but refused to stay in for treatment He said: “I told them if I’m going to die I’d rather die at home.”
Dawn Withy, of Worthing Rd, Foots Cray, is complaining to the NHS's Patient Advice and Liaison Services over her treatment.
Ms Withy, who has chest problems and suffered a heart attack last June, was referred to the hospital by her doctor last month with chronic breathing difficulties.
But when she turned up Ms Withy claims she was told to sit down in a packed-out waiting room while the tannoy system informed people there was a four-hour wait.
Two hours later she was called through but was left sitting on a chair with an oxygen nebuliser for a further three hours.
The 34-year-old said: “I was getting to the point where my chest was so tight I thought I might stop breathing.
“It’s not the staff’s fault - they’re overrun. But I told them someone’s going to die if this goes on.”
A spokesman for South London Healthcare Trust said flu and the norovirus were contributing to large patient numbers but said patients were not waiting longer in A&E than expected.
He said: “"Following the recent temporary closure of the Queen Mary's A&E department, the trust has increased the beds, staffing and physical space to safely treat any increases in patients attending our other hospitals.”
The spokesman added that the hospital had an excellent record for cleanliness.
He said: “Although Queen Elizabeth’s average waiting time is approximately three hours, we would like to apologise to patients who have waited longer than this and appreciate the inconvenience and difficulty.
“We would also like to apologise to the two patients whose cases that you have brought to our attention and are investigating both of these as a matter of urgency. The treatment that you have reported to us is clearly not acceptable. “