An elderly woman suffering from an infection following a fall at her home was forced to spend 30 hours waiting in a hospital corridor, according to a family member.
Barry Kushner, 61, said it was “scary” to witness the terrible state of his local hospital after his 92-year-old cousin, who was left “delirious” following the fall, spent over a day on a trolley.
He took a picture showing dozens of other patients facing a similar “chaotic” experiences at the Royal Liverpool Hospital earlier this month.
The picture reveals patients waiting to be seen by NHS staff in the busy A&E corridor due to what a Trust spokesperson called "incredibly challenging circumstances”.
Kushner, a Labour councillor, said he couldn’t “fault" staff for the care they had offered but slammed the government for the “total breakdown” of the NHS and bringing it “to its knees”.
He said: “This is visual evidence of the fact that the hospital and the service is on its knees. Patients shouldn't routinely be treated in corridors…
“There’s a total breakdown, a systemic breakdown, of the functioning of the NHS as a result of the government’s policy of divestment.
“This is our safety net. If you are sick, basically, you are going to end up here, and it feels a bit scary. It’s not functioning in the way that it should.”
Figures from NHS England show that just 68.9% of patients in England were seen within four hours last month, down from 69.3% in October and the worst performance on record.
The target is for at least 95% of patients attending A&E to be admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours, but this has not been met nationally since 2015.
Patients are set for further waits and delays when nurses and paramedics go on strike later this month, despite unions saying they will respond to life-threatening incidents
But health secretary Steve Barclay said there is “still a question” over whether ambulance services will cover all emergency callouts during strikes.
Kushner’s cousin’s experience began on 1 December, when she picked up an infection after suffering a fall in her own home in the evening.
An ambulance was called at around 10.30 pm but paramedics didn’t reach her until 9.30am the following morning.
Kushner said his relative, who he does not want to name, was only offered a bed at around 4.30pm on 3 December – having waited for 30 hours – and remains in hospital in a stable condition.
Dr Jim Gardner, chief medical officer at Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said emergency departments across the country “are facing significant pressures”.
He added: “Work is ongoing to help alleviate pressures within our hospitals, particularly around patients who no longer require acute care…
“We are also continuing to work closely with our local partners in adult and social care to ensure patients are discharged safely and in timely manner into community and social care.”