Daughter’s sadness as 70-year-old dad spends 29 hours on bed in QEQM Hospital corridor

Patients line a hospital corridor at QEQM

The daughter of a 70-year-old Ramsgate man who spent 29 hours on a bed in a corridor at QEQM Hospital in Margate says she was “really sad” to see so many elderly people crying out for help.

The woman, who has asked that her dad’s name is not made public, said he arrived at A&E at 10am on Saturday (April 27) and did not leave until 3pm on Sunday.

She said: “My father was suffering food poisoning and there was vomiting and diarrhoea but he had to be buzzed into wards to use the toilets and as there were no staff available that was quite difficult.

“I have never seen it before, how people were all kept on the corridors overnight. There was constant noise and people walking past and there was no hot food for people in the corridors even though they were bringing it past them for people in the wards.

“There were three corridors packed with those on beds and there were about 12 or 13 in the two corridors where we were. I’d say 95% of them were elderly and they were asking for help. The nurses were trying to help but then they would need to move forward and the person would be forgotten about. It was really sad.

“I left the hospital at 11pm and was back by 7am on Sunday and when I came in my dad was sitting in the bed and he teared up. He had tried to ask for help but the nurses just had so much going on.

“My dad is normally very tough but I had to witness him in tears because he was so vulnerable and helpless.

“The staff were overworked and obviously didn’t want to put people in corridors but it was over capacity. It was very sad, especially as many of the elderly people were there alone with no family to help them. In that way Dad was lucky because I was there to help him.”

East Kent Hospitals University Trust is responsible for hospitals including QEQM. Latest figures show that 49.7% of attendances to the Trust’s major emergency departments took longer than four hours from arrival to admission, transfer or discharge.

In March the Trust’s A&E departments at QEQM and the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford had 13,484 attendees (type 1, this excludes other departments such as Minor Injury Units) with 6787 dealt with in fewer than four hours and 6697 in four hours or more. Of these, 1131 emergency cases took 12 hours or more from decision to admit to actual admission on a ward.

‘Dedicated staff’

Sarah Hayes, chief nursing and midwifery officer, said: “I am very sorry that (the gentleman) and his daughter had concerns about his care.

“Our hospitals remain very busy, with more than 20,000 people attending our emergency departments each month, many of whom needed to be admitted. We also have people on the wards who need longer to recover to be well enough to go home, and others who are waiting for care packages and other arrangements to be finalised before it is safe for them to be discharged.

“Unfortunately this means there can be a long wait for people in our emergency departments, but our dedicated staff work incredibly hard to provide the best possible care and regularly review patients who are waiting.

“To help support our teams in caring for our sickest patients, local communities can help us by only using our emergency departments when it is an emergency, and to contact NHS 111 online to find alternative services if they have less urgent concerns.”

Last November a multi-million-pound refurbishment of the emergency department at the Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital in Margate was completed.

Phase 3a involved rebuilding the existing resuscitation unit, where some of the most critically ill patients in the hospital are treated, providing five new state-of-the-art resuscitation bays.

Other upgrades to maximise the space included a new commercial kitchen, storage spaces, accessible toilets and clean and dirty utility areas. A new ambulance road has also been completed to provide direct access for emergency vehicles to the new emergency department entrance.

Major redevelopment of the majors and paediatric areas also took place and the final phase of work provides two additional cubicles, relatives’ room and point-of-care-testing facilities, as well as reinstating temporary areas.


  1. A dire situation. The wealth gap has ensured a decline in life expectancy in deprived areas {eg Thanet} but the rich are enjoying increased longevity.

    • Eh? No-one has said how rich or poor the said person is, but – unless one goes private – it wouldn’t have made any difference whatsoever.

  2. On one hand I can see there is not much point someone with food poisoning going to A&E. All patients are assessed on arrival so those who are placed in the corridors or what the Trust likes to call “extended bed area” are normally of low priority. Thanet has had a huge increase in population over the past decade so things can only get worse under the Conservatives. My advice is ONLY go to A&E if your condition is an ACCIDENT OR AN EMERGENCY.
    There is a “ walk in Center” in Deal and Whitstable.

    • Without knowing more about the gentleman’s overall health it’s hard to know whether his condition was considered an emergency / a situation that might become an emergency. But in theory I agree that it’s best to avoid A&E unless it’s necessary. There is a walk-in centre in QEQM. Trouble is, patients get directed to it both by 111 and my GP practice ‘cos the practice can’t cope. I’ve sat there feeling like a drain on resources several times now, but with no alternative.

  3. I have to add my penny worth in support of all the people working in A&E. Last January, at 11pm my 89 year old Mom had an accident. As we couldn’t get an ambulance, I drove her myself to the back of A&E. She was immediately taken in and put in an independent cubicle in the new built area. It took perhaps two hours for her to be assessed properly, have CT scans etc…: small bleed on the brain and broken ankle. Then she was put on a stretcher bed and wheeled to the corridor to wait for a bed in a ward to leave the cubicle for another emergency. She only got a bed at about 5pm-ish the following day. During all that time, she was regularly checked for her bleed on the brain. She saw both specialists, the orthopedic surgeon and the neurosurgeon. I was allowed to stay with her during her entire stay (4 days). In the corridor we were offered coffee and a hot lunch in a box for both of us. Yes there is a lack of beds in the wards. But she was comfortable. She was not deprived of any care because she was in the corridor. We were moving along the line as people were leaving A&E. She was wheeled to the toilets whenever she needed to. I could not fault the staff in any way, despite the limited number of doctors and nurses due to the strike at the time. And when she was in the ward, we had unlimited supply of coffee and biscuits as well as lunch and dinner. I was even given a pass in order to avoid paying for the parking space and my Mom was given a present by the dementia team (leftover Christmas presents). For us it was 5 stars all along from everyone. I feel extremely blessed to have had such a fabulous treatment and big thumbs up for the the staff, nurses and doctors.

  4. Tory government has caused all of this by continually cutting funds.does anybody know what they are spending all these savings on????.
    Voting Tory will take years off your and others live while getting rich on their own greed, sorry but labour are no better

    • A floating barge that holds less crossings than arrive on one day in the summer. Spending nearly 2 million per person to deport people to Rwanda-while taking Rwandans in exchange. So basically paying for Daily Fail Gaslighting/Lies Headlines.

      Problem for the Tories is very few now really believe that all the problems in UK life are due to people in dinghies & believe it is fourteen years of incompetence, corruption, rewarding the super wealthy while punishing the poorest & a recent poll showed immigration is number four on their list of concerns.

  5. As stated previously-the old trick of a new coat of paint to whitewash things, but still the same problems.

  6. My sick brother entered A/e via ambulance on the Friday night, spent 24 hours in a corridor, having seizures, bed not near a plug socket to list his head to stop him chocking on his own tongue so I had to physically lift him and hold him up whilst it was happening. He was then given an enema and put back in the corridor with no toilet facilities and he couldn’t stand, no buzzer for help. He never received any medication including his anti epileptic drugs for 48 hours until I kicked up a stink! Went in with seizures and no meds given! Diabetic on insulin. Not given. He was bedded on a ward on the Monday. Horrendous experience. He fell and no one documented it, denied it happened.

    In upgrade? It’s more like a 3rd world down there. Dark dingy, corridors lined with sick frail people, no access to bells, toilets or care. Sad sad sad.

    This government should be ashamed.

    • Why the government?

      The NHS are causing this problem themselves.
      They are getting more funding than before and still wasting the money.
      They need to be made accountable NOT the government!
      Ask most decent staff in the NHS and they say the same thing, every other person is made up to a manager of something that could be given to one person.
      You could give them a bottomless pit of money and it wouldn’t change a single thing.

      Too many incompetent staff and not enough decent ones.
      Now that’s the real issue!

    • NIKI – have you ever been or worked in aThird World country? I have and include war zones. I can assure you QEQM is nothing remotely approaching medical care in some of these countries. Thank your lucky stars you live in UK. ALSO NO BENEFIT SYSTEMS IN THESE COUNTRIES. I get fed up with battering our medical services get, with people often quoting this Third World country argument.

  7. Plus as others have said… the public are abusing the system and going there for upset stomachs or aches and pains they could sort themselves.

    So whilst a truly needy person is suffering, the reason they are suffering is because Fred & Doris are wasting the staffs time with things they could deal with at home, not a family day trip to hospital!

    • A lot of time it could be dealt with by their GP. But they are still ignoring patients-encouraged to do so by the government, who let them get away with it during Covid.

    • I agree Scott what with novovirus going around . Why take someone who is throwing up and has the trots to A & E. It’s so selfish spreading it around to people who are seriously I’ll.


  9. I thought I had it rought I was sent home from a+e only to return in worser condition and 2 hours from the final nap 😴 if you know what I mean after many hours on the a+e floor to be rushed in to surgery I spent 12 days there to be sent home with what I was told a care package in place a district nurse whom call me before I left the hospital and was told I wasn’t house bound enough for her to come out to see me at home so I went to my doctor’s whom I’m was later told refused to treat my wound as they thought a 41inch by 4 in gash was to much for them to take care of I was sent back to hospital to seau whom have been treating me well but it been so dam hard even to get a dam catheter removed I ended up spending another 18 this week again fighting an infection in the dam Catheter I been asking for the last 8 weeks to be removed I’m finally on the mend but it’s been a struggle ..

  10. Giggles, some …….. and ,,,,,,, for your next post.
    I don’t foresee any improvement with a change of government. Too expensive to sustain.

  11. My mother spent 24 hrs in a wheelchair in the corridor of QEQM A&E in December last year before she got a bed.

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