Kent

Kent hospital apologises over A&E wait for 80-year-old

A hospital has apologised after an 80-year-old woman with a broken hip was left untreated for five hours.

The woman, who suffers from Alzheimer's, was eventually treated at the A&E department at the new Pembury Hospital in west Kent.

The hospital apologised, saying its "standard of care" in that instance was not up to the level expected.

There has been a 25% surge in the number of patients attending the unit since it opened on 22 September.

'Standard of care'

Age UK complained to the hospital about the treatment the woman received when taken to hospital by ambulance.

The charity says she had a broken hip, but was left on a trolley, confused and in pain, for more than five hours before being seen.

A spokesman for Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust said: "We are very sorry that this lady had such a long wait in A&E at Tunbridge Wells Hospital and her needs and comfort were apparently not properly attended to.

"It seems that the standard of care we provided for her was not up to the level which people rightly expect from us and which we demand from our services."

The new hospital replaced the older Kent and Sussex Hospital, in Tunbridge Wells.

'Novelty'

According to figures provided by the Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust, the number of patients attending the A&E in older hospital in the week beginning 27 September 2010, was 934.

The number rose to 1,167 for the same period this year at the new hospital.

A spokesman for the trust said: "We are keeping a very close eye on A&E attendances at the new hospital.

"We believe the novelty will wear off as the new hospital beds in and are starting to see numbers return to normal."

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