No bed for heart attack pensioner

72-year-old Joe Bell is angry at the way he was treated when he had chest pains and doctors said he had a mild heart attack and then was left waiting for a bed at Pontefract.
72-year-old Joe Bell is angry at the way he was treated when he had chest pains and doctors said he had a mild heart attack and then was left waiting for a bed at Pontefract.
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A PENSIONER who suffered a mild heart attack was left waiting more than five hours for a bed at Pontefract Hospital - before being sent to two other hospitals for treatment.

Joe Bell was taken by ambulance to Pontefract Hospital after experiencing chest pains.

He arrived at 8pm, on May 4, but had to wait until 1am to be told by a nurse there were no beds available and would have to go to Dewsbury and District Hospital by ambulance.

During his wait he was given a blood test which showed the 72-year-old had suffered a mild heart attack.

Mr Bell, of Wrangbrook Road, Upton, said: “I am angry at the way I was treated. It could have been life threatening.”

Mr Bell suffers with thrombophilia – which is a clotting of the blood and has had three similar incidents like this one in the past.

Because of this, doctors wanted to ensure his heart was in a stable condition with a heart scan – but this could only be done at Pinderfields General Hospital, and he was told he faced a seven-day wait for a bed to become available.

His daughter, who works in the health service, was disgusted with the treatment her father received so complained.

Mr Bell said: “Within 10 minutes of her making the complaint a nurse came and told me there was a bed available at Pinderfields.

“So as soon as a complaint is made, a bed materialised. I could not believe it.

“Someone will lose their life because of this. I have personally suffered as a consequence to the lack of beds.”

Mr Bell complained to Hemsworth MP Jon Tricket, who has started a campaign to save beds and improve services at Pontefract Hospital.

Mr Trickett said: “I have received many calls, letters and e-mails regarding the poor service people have received in the local hospitals of late, Mr Bell’s being a case in point.

“Cutbacks and the shortage of beds are creating ridiculous situations where people from this end of the district are being ambulanced all over the Mid Yorks Trust area in an effort to locate a bed and receive the medical treatment they clearly need.”

Tracey McErlain-Burns, chief nurse and director of patient experience at the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “I apologise if Mr Bell feels his experience with us didn’t meet his needs in a timely way.”

The Trust have offered to discuss the complaint with Mr Bell directly.