Stroke victim forced to spend the night in a corridor due to staff and bed shortage at Dartford hospital.

PUBLISHED: 10:27 11 January 2017 | UPDATED: 15:37 11 January 2017

Darent Valley Hospital

Darent Valley Hospital


A hospital spokesman blamed “extremely high demand for hospital services” for the situation

A patient suffering from a stroke was forced to spend the night waiting on a trolley for treatment due to a shortage of beds and staff at a north Kent hospital.

Swanley resident Theresa Woodbridge, 45, was taken ill at 11.15pm on Wednesday, January 4, and husband Robert immediately called 999 when he realised she was having a stroke.

A paramedic arrived after 30 minutes and provided “excellent” care, but after 50 minutes waiting for an ambulance to arrive from Darent Valley Hospital, they were told none were available.

Mrs Woodbridge had to be taken by car to the hospital, and when she arrived she had to wait on a trolley in a corridor as no beds were free.

“My wife wasn’t comfortable at all during her trolley wait, but there was nothing anyone could do,” Mr Woodbridge said.

“There were about six or seven others, all seriously ill, waiting on trolleys.

“During that time my wife got a CT scan. Eventually, she went into accident and emergency in the middle of the night.

“It wasn’t until the next day, at 5pm, that she was placed in a ward.

“The whole time we were there we just saw two junior doctors and no one else.”

Mr Woodbridge claimed the hospital had been instructed by the government to leave patients in the care of the ambulance service due to a shortage of staff and beds.

A spokesman for the hospital blamed “extremely high demand for hospital services” for the situation and denied there was a government order to leave patients with ambulance staff.

“Patients coming in by ambulance are received into the A&E department on arrival,” he added. “The patient remains in the care of the ambulance crew until they are assessed by a senior clinician in the A&E and given a priority according to their clinical need. Patients with the greatest need are seen first.”

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