Val Griffiths, from Cardiff, was admitted to A&E after developing breathing difficulties from severe food poisoning (Picture: Media Wales)
A grandma has described the ‘inhumane’ and ‘deeply frustrating’ experience of sitting on the same chair in A&E for six days on an IV drip.
Val Griffiths, from Canton in Cardiff, was diagnosed with severe food poisoning back in August and has had breathing difficulties ever since.
Last week she was admitted to Wales’ largest A&E department, University Hospital of Wales (UHW), after her condition worsened.
But she claims she stayed sat on an uncomfortable chair connected to an IV drip from last Tuesday to Sunday.
She complained about having no privacy in her part of the hospital, known as the ‘IV lounge’, and claimed she was not given any medication for 24 hours because ‘staff accidentally scrubbed her name off the board’.
But when Val raised this with staff she claims they added her name back onto the board and then gave her the right medication straight away.
‘I’m not trying to criticise the nurses as they are under almost constant pressure, but from my experience it felt like I was in a hospital in a third-world country,’ Val said.
‘It’s absolutely not fit for purpose. Inhumane is the word I would use to describe it. I’ve told my son to never take me there again.’
Val says she spent six days in the same upright chair, which caused her legs to swell (Picture: Media Wales)
Val was also given antibiotics when she was admitted to the A&E department but feared mistakes were made because staff were busy.
She claims her legs also became very swollen during her stay after sitting on a high-back chair, and claims it wasn’t until day five she was placed in a more comfortable chair recently purchased by the health board.
Val was eventually discharged on Sunday, but said she wasn’t happy with the ordeal.
‘They discharged 16 of us in one go which seemed like an awful lot to me,’ she added.
‘It felt like they were just clearing us out. By that point I just wanted to get out of there and come home. I’m now on oral antibiotics but my breathing is still not right.’
Val is now back at home but her breathing is still not right (Picture: Media Wales)
Val believes system-wide issues are putting pressure on the NHS up and down the country.
She said: ‘I think care in the community isn’t there. What happens then is they can’t shift people out of wards, it then causes blockages in A&E and its staff are having to cope with that.
‘There’s a distinct lack of communication in A&E in regards to what is happening to patients as they haven’t got time to speak to them.
‘I talked to one of the senior nurses and asked her how morale was within the team. She couldn’t answer me verbally other than pulling an overly grinned face.’
Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW) visited the University Hospital of Wales’ A&E department between June 20 and 22 this year and found it was overcrowded, visibly dirty, and could not guarantee the safety and dignity of patients.
In response to Val’s claims, a spokesperson for Cardiff and Vale University Health Board said: ‘We are sorry to hear that Ms Griffiths recently had a poor experience while in our care.
‘We would welcome the opportunity to discuss the concerns raised by Ms Griffiths via our dedicated concerns team so we can thoroughly explore the issues.’
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