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Sittingbourne great-gran has amputation after ‘four days on a trolley’ in a corridor at Medway Maritime Hospital

A great-gran had to have her lower leg amputated after her family claim she was left on a trolley in a hospital corridor for four days.

Geraldine Newing, 78, was taken to Medway Maritime Hospital with a foot infection on Good Friday which developed into sepsis.


Great gran Geraldine Newing on a trolley in corridor at Medway Maritime Hospital
Great gran Geraldine Newing on a trolley in corridor at Medway Maritime Hospital

After eventually seeing a surgeon the following Tuesday (April 2), her husband Anthony was told she needed an immediate operation or “she might die”.

Her son Michael said during the time she was waiting to see a doctor there were at least 10 other patients on temporary beds with poor washing facilities.

The 57-year-old father-of-two from Sittingbourne, said: “It’s disgusting the way she was treated. It’s particularly degrading for elderly people.

Medway Maritime Hospital
Medway Maritime Hospital

“For four days she was only seen by nurses and auxiliaries and there were no wash facilities.”

The family first called for medical attention on Monday, March 25, at her home in Watsons Hill, Sittingbourne and decided to go to MedOCC, an on-call service which deals with urgent care problems when GP surgeries are closed, when her condition deteriorated.

Michael, a factory worker, said: “MedOCC told us she needed urgent attention, but they tried for two hours and could not get through to consultants at the hospital.”

Mrs Newing had an operation last Tuesday afternoon when her right leg was amputated from the knee down.

She remains at the Gillingham hospital where she is on a drip and antibiotics fighting off the infection.

Michael, who lives in Meads Avenue, Sittingbourne, added: “She is likely to be in there for some time.

“She is diabetic and has had a couple of strokes.

“I’m not sure how she will cope.”

The family has lodged a complaint with Medway NHS Foundation Trust which runs Medway Maritime.

Geraldine Newing,78, with daughter Teresa
Geraldine Newing,78, with daughter Teresa

Sarah Vaux, interim chief nursing officer at the Trust, said: “We are very sorry that Mrs Newing waited so long in our emergency department.

“We are in contact with her and her family to investigate and learn from their concerns about her care.”

In March the hospital had more than 550 patients attending the emergency department every day.

Geraldine’s story comes as the latest statistics reveal more than 10,000 people visited A&E at Medway Maritime last month.

Of those patients, 6,933 waited less than four hours for a bed (69.3%). However, 1,212 waited longer than four hours and the wait exceeded 12 hours for 798 patients.

Although when looking at time spent in emergency care departments overall - which also includes urgent treatment centres or minor injury units such as the MEDOCC service Geraldine’s family contacted - more than 18,000 visited the emergency department last month.

Of these, 14,213 (77.4%) waited less than four hours to be discharged, admitted or transferred.

The longest waits for A&E alone were at East Kent hospitals where 6,787 people waited less than four hours for a bed (50%). Of the 13,484 A&E visits, the wait for a bed exceeded four hours for 1,746 and 12 hours for 1,131.

Meanwhile, the shortest waits were recorded at Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells where of its near 20,000 visits to A&E last month, 16,930 were seen in less than four hours (84.7%). In comparison, 699 patients waited longer than four hours, and just 12 in excess of 12 hours.

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