A shocking picture of sick patients left waiting in the corridor at HRI’s A&E has been posted on Facebook.
The image was sent anonymously to the chairman of the ‘ Hands Off HRI ’ campaign group, Karl Deitch.
It shows a number of people on trolleys, including an elderly woman, in a corridor at the hospital’s accident and emergency department.
The source of the photograph said it was taken at about 10pm last Monday after they had waited for treatment for five hours.
School holidays are often the busiest times for hospitals.
A spokesperson for the hospital has confirmed the image is genuine and that staff were under pressure due to a high volume of patients.
Mr Deitch, who is leading the movement to block plans to close Huddersfield’s A&E, posted the image on the 48,000 member strong Facebook group.
And people who claimed to be there quickly began to leave comments about it.
One said: “The lady second in from the front ended up waiting over nine hours to get a bed. She is 84 year old.”
The woman said it was her friend’s mum and she had been seen quickly in A&E but then left waiting in a cold corridor as there were no cubicles free.
Another member of the group said an announcement had been made by staff warning that were waits of up to six hours to see a doctor.
NHS guidelines say 95% of patients should be admitted or discharged within four hours.
The commentor said: “I was in there Monday evening with my two-year-old and it was packed.
“They also gave an announcement that to see triage was going to be up to two hours wait and for a doctor anywhere up to six hours due to staff shortages.
“There was a lady that had taken her young daughter as she had banged her head and they were still waiting two hours for triage.
“It’s horrendous and it could cost lives. Something needs to be done about it.”
Another comment from a staff member about the picture was: “I work in the hospital; it’s like this constantly and they’re quite often all emergency situations. It’s totally not feasible merging two A&Es were struggling as it is!”
Another person revealed A&E had been overloaded all day.
They said: “It was like that at 11am on Monday, as I was there at that time.”
Another revealed even babies were not given priority in recent days.
“I went up to A&E last week with my baby and had to wait 5 hours to be seen. It was packed out and the poor staff were run off their feet.”
Mr Deitch said he was appalled by the image and said it was a wake up call for those who didn’t know that A&E wasn’t coping.
“I was gobsmacked when I saw it,” he said.
“It’s unbelievable to see it. That image is so powerful.
“You can’t deny this is happening – it’s not fiction, it’s a reality.
“I went to A&E three-years-ago when I injured myself playing football and I was seen in ten or 15 minutes.
“It’s sad to see how quickly it’s deteriorated.”
Mr Deitch said several clinicians from the hospital had been in touch to support the campaign to keep a full A&E department in Huddersfield but they were afraid to be identified.
A spokesperson for Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust, said: “There has been an increasing number of patients attending the A&E departments, with many of them requiring admission to hospital.
“This has placed pressure on the system. We are doing everything we can and working with our partners to minimise delays.”