Wiltshire

Swindon Great Western Hospital A&E 'too small for town'

Great Western Hospital, Swindon
Image caption The Great Western Hospital was rated as requiring improvement by the Care Quality Commission in December

A hospital where patients have had to wait for more than 24 hours for beds has admitted its A&E department is too small for the town.

Bosses at Swindon's Great Western Hospital apologised for delays and said patients "have been on trollies for much longer than we want them to be".

It said a planned £30m expansion of its A&E facility would "put right" delays.

The hospital was rated as requiring improvement by the Care Quality Commission in December.

Emergency unit lead nurse Julia Marshman said staff were presently seeing more than 400 patients per day, with 30% of those needing to be admitted.

She said: "We have had up to 24 hours of people waiting in [the emergency department] to get to a bed on a ward. It's much longer than we want and we are really sorry for any distress that is causing.

"We want to serve our patient community and want to do absolutely the best that we can and treat them in timely way, but because of some of the pressures and numbers of patients coming in that has proven slightly more difficult over the last couple of days.

'Bigger hospital'

"Our emergency department is too small for the size of the town now and also perhaps we haven't got the right number of beds.

"All of those things will be put right over the next few years, but our challenge is getting to those next few years really."

Fiona Carter's 87-year-old mother had a fall and had to wait 13 hours on a trolley at the hospital before being seen.

She said: "Swindon could do with a new hospital, or a bigger hospital. Everyone says it.

"We're not just talking Swindon - it's also the surrounding areas. It shouldn't be like it is in A&E."

In December the hospital was awarded a £29.6m government grant to expand its emergency department.

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