Medics have warned that Lancashire’s NHS is ‘overheating,’ LAURA WILD explores the combination of funding cuts, social pressures and an ageing population that has left our health services facing crisis point.
The strains on the NHS at the moment are not just being felt by the staff – but by patients too with many having to wait, or making complaints about poor experience.
One such example is that of 48-year-old Stuart Horton, of Broadgate, Preston.
Mr Horton, who has a history of high blood pressure, rushed to the Royal Preston Hospital one day last week.
What followed, he said, was ‘abysmal’ and he said he ‘felt ignored’.
Mr Horton explained: “I was seen by a triage nurse and my blood pressure was 214 which is obviously very high.
“I asked for pain relief and I wasn’t given it. Then I was taken upstairs to a medical assessment unit.
“They left me there. Twelve hours later I had had enough and decided I needed to get tablets to get my blood pressure down.
“I left at 7am and drove myself to my GP in Fishergate Hill surgery, my blood pressure was 196. I was prescribed medication and by the afternoon ti was down to 163.
“In the 12 hours at hospital they didn’t carry out any tests. When I was in the bed they told me a doctor would come sometime the next day – I couldn’t wait that long.
“They said there was 10 people before me and I understand that people take priority, but if somebody comes in with that level of blood pressure it has to be treated immediately.
“I appreciate people are under funded and overstretched but it doesn’t take much to get some medicine from the cabinet.
“I feel sorry for elderly people or people with medical conditions – it is a very big concern.”
Mr Horton has made a complaint to the hospital and has contacted the NHS advocacy service.