Harlow patient who was “kept in store cupboard” becomes national headline

Politics / Thu 15th Jan 2015 at 01:33pm

IT SEEMS that a day doesn’t go by without a story about the health service in Harlow.

This week, the Daily Mirror highlighted the plight of Harlow resident, Michael Steel, 63, who was placed into a storage room filled with medical supplies and lit by a fluorescent strip light at Princess Alexandra Hospital

Mr Steel told the Mirror that he was unable to sleep due to constant interruptions as staff retrieved equipment.

The story has been covered on other national newspapers as well as on Television this morning.

Even the chancellor of the exchequer, George Osborne has commented on the situation. He told Good Morning Britain: “Every member of the Government regrets the treatment of a grandfather who spent three days in a hospital stock room because there was no space on a ward.”

“There are more nurses, more doctors, but the truth is there are more than a million more people going to A&E. We’ve got to address why people aren’t going to doctors surgeries, why they’re not necessarily phoning the helplines that are available,” he said.

Mr Steel, who was being treated for an inflamed liver, said other patients were left hungry by overstretched nurses.

“It beggars belief that something like this can happen in this day and age – people don’t believe it when I tell them,” he said.

The hospital trust has apologised to Mr Steel, saying it was struggling with an “unprecedented number of emergency patients”.

It rejected the hungry patient claims.

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