KGH struggling to cope with population rise

Christine Thurland
Christine Thurland

Figures released by Kettering General Hospital show how the number of accident and emergency admissions has rocketed over 20 years.

It comes after Government figures showed A&E transit times at the hospital were among the slowest in England.

One patient who had to wait hours in agony after being admitted to A&E after breaking her hip following a fall said the hospital desperately needed further investment.

Christine Thurland, 73, of Kettering, said she could not fault the staff at the hospital, but said she had to wait five hours just to have an x-ray.

She said: “All those hours waiting on a trolley in excruciating pain, it was absolutely ghastly. It’s a disgusting amount of time to wait, but what more could the staff do? They can’t possibly do any more, they haven’t got enough people or room. They just can’t cope.”

Mrs Thurland, who was born in the hospital, added: “I need to know why these things happened. They need all the support they can get.”

She said she supported a campaign by MPs to retain and improve services at Kettering, adding: “The idea we can get by without a hospital is totally ludicrous.”

Bosses have pointed out the hospital has had to deal with a rapidly rising population. In 1992, an average of 109 patients were seen in A&E each day – in 2012 that figure had risen to 230.

The hospital’s chief operating officer, Sue Watkinson, said: “The hospital is currently working very hard on the development of an emergency care transformation programme to address the issue of long waits in the A&E department.

“We fully appreciate that such waits are frustrating for patients – and for our own staff – and we want to do everything within the hospital’s power to prevent this. We would also like to apologise to all patients who have waited for a long time in our A&E department. With up to 250 patients in a day through the department at busy times this can be a tremendous pressure.”