St Albans woman supporting junior doctor strike after 15-hour A&E wait at Waford General

06:00 08 February 2016

Watford General Hospital

Watford General Hospital


After spending 15 hours in A&E at a local hospital following a road traffic accident, a St Albans filmmaker and photographer is wholeheartedly supporting junior doctors ahead of their strike next Wednesday.

Freelancer Emily Attwood, 25, of Palfrey Close has missed three weeks of work and still struggles to walk properly after treatment at Watford General Hospital following an accident on January 4.

She was admitted during a period when the West Herts Hospital Trust had suspended its minor injuries service because of the numbers of patients using the A&E department in the post-holiday period.

Emily suffered leg and stomach injuries in the accident involving a motorbike near St Albans City Station at around 6.30pm.

Her left leg and right side took the brunt of impact as she was thrown across the other side of the street.

On arriving at Watford General by ambulance, she was placed in a long corridor already full of patients on trollies waiting to be seen which prevented ambulance personnel from responding to further emergency calls.

After around seven hours, she was moved to a resuscitation ward where a A CT scan revealed that despite her fears, she had not suffered internal bleeding.

Emily was moved to the recovery ward early the next morning where a gash on her left leg was cleaned and covered with gauze.

During her long hours at the hospital, several staff told her they had already gone well over the scheduled hours for their shift.

Emily said: “The only redeeming feature is the staff who somehow managed to remain cheerful and kind.

“Every hospital staff member I have talked to is trying to make the best out of a very bad situation.”

She pointed out that they were doing the most important job: saving lives and caring for people when they are at their most vulnerable.

Over subsequent weeks Emily had to spend money on several taxi trips to and from her local GP surgery for follow-up leg treatment.

Backing next week’s planned junior doctors’ strike, she said “I completely support the strike. Change won’t happen if we just sit and hope for better. Patients and staff deserve more.

“Money is being spent in inefficient ways such as paying ambulance staff to stand in corridors for hours.”

A spokesperson for the West Herts Hospitals NHS trust explained that for the whole of last month, the A&E department had been experiencing a number of attendances which was why it had suspended the minor injuries service for adults at Watford General.

He said: :“We apologise for any inconvenience this has caused to our patients.”


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