A woman with appendicitis was shuttled around three wards at Oxford’s JR hospital because of a lack of beds.
Stephanie Moore from Banbury was referred to the hospital’s surgical unit for emergency surgery on Sunday night. But when she got to the unit, there was no bed.
“I got there to be told they couldn’t book me in because they physically didn’t have a bed,” she said. “We were told I should go to A&E and start the whole process again, in spite of the referral letter. I’d had no pain relief. After my scan there were no bays or beds so I was put on a trolley in a lobby area where the ambulances take patients. There were seven of us there on trolleys.”
Mrs Moore, 37, was operated on at 9.30am.
“After my surgery I was left in recovery until 2.30pm because there were no beds and eventually I ended up in the West Wing, where the children’s and eye hospitals are, until the next day.”
“They were so busy; it was mayhem,” she said. “If they are at maximum capacity where do they go next?
“On every route out of Banbury there are housing developments. For something as simple as an appendix – it’s not brain surgery – you need treatment here in your own home town, at the Horton.”
Sam Foster, OUH Chief Nurse said: “We’re very sorry for any distress caused to Ms Moore during her treatment. We have raised her concerns with the relevant teams and will investigate this as a formal complaint.”
Charlotte Bird of Keep the Horton General Campaign said: “Beds have been closed at the trust’s hospitals despite the rising workload due to the increase in population and other factors. It is no excuse that this is replicated throughout the country, as unless the process is reversed there will be more examples of this unacceptable treatment.”