MP Rosie Duffield slams ‘unacceptable’ hospital delays as patients left waiting hours

Canterbury’s Labour MP Rosie Duffield has criticised hospital delays after a patient was left waiting on a trolley for hours.

Duffield claims people are ‘suffering’ in East Kent as hospitals in Ashford and Margate are under ‘enormous pressure’ following the downgrading of the Kent and Canterbury hospital.

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Bruce was left waiting with his brother-in-law for over five hours

Bruce Taylor, was with his brother-in-law Sunday evening, who was left waiting on a trolley at William Harvey Hospital, Ashford, for over five hours.

Bruce’s brother-in-law went to hospital after suffering breathing difficulties.

He said: “[We] arrived at approximately 12pm, and were seen at 5pm. Doctors, nurses and paramedics were exceptional.

“They are packed out with patients coming from all directions and it’s been like that since our hospital in Canterbury stopped A&E.”

Bruce, who lives on Old Dover Road, agreed that the staff at the hospital are being run off their feet.

He added: “I overheard a gentleman on the phone demanding answers as to why a four hour delay had turned into six to seven hour wait.

“One of our doctors stated that it is like this everyday of the week since Canterbury closed it’s A&E. There was some pretty bad cases in there all waiting on trollies.”

“It just does not make sense the doctors nurses are run off their feet 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year they are only just coping some thing needs to be done somehow.”


“We are a city without an Accident and Emergency and that, in this day and age, is outrageous.”


Canterbury’s MP, was critical of the hospital delays.

She said: “These delays are unacceptable. People are suffering for these delays throughout East Kent.

“The downgrading of the Kent and Canterbury hospital has put enormous pressure on hospitals in both Ashford and Margate and current levels of staffing at our East Kent hospitals and the facilities are not fit for purpose.”

Rosie Duffield was a surprise winner in the 2017 General Election.

The Labour MP is ‘calling’ for a new Canterbury hospital, to accommodate residents of the city.

She added: “I am also calling for a new hospital in Canterbury that can appropriately cater for our growing population, tourist footfall and student residents.

“We are a city without an Accident and Emergency and that, in this day and age, is outrageous.”

Duffield later criticised the Conservative government, saying: “The Tory government cannot claim to love the NHS and starve it of funds. We have an aging population, where demands on a health service are ever growing.

“As winter draws in, these waiting times are only going to grow; I’m really worried and scared for my constituents.”

East Kent Hospitals Acting Chief Executive Liz Shutler said: “Critically ill patients are prioritised and treated quickly. This means that people attending with non-life threatening illnesses and injuries can wait for a long time and this is not the standard we want for any of our patients.

“We are carefully monitoring our services to ensure that patients are receiving safe standards of care.

“But it is challenging as we are still covering vacant posts with temporary staff. We have been successful in a bid to expand the departments at Ashford and Margate hospitals.

“Every member of staff is working extremely hard to care for patients, and improving standards for emergency patients is our top priority.”

Jade Evans, was left waiting eight hours with her sister Jo, who was having surgery on her tonsils.

She said: “My sister went in for day surgery to have her tonsils out and was told to be there for 7.30am. When we arrived they said she was midway down the list. It wasn’t until later we found out she was actually last out of 8 people.

“We expected some delays, but eight hours was ridiculous, especially as my sister wasn’t allowed to eat or drink since the night before. She finally got called down to theatre at 2pm and was down there for just over an hour. Then we had to stay on the ward from 3.15-7.40pm when she was finally discharged.”

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Sean McPolin

Sean is a third-year multimedia journalism student and News Editor for Unified. He has had work used at BBC, ITV, Huffington Post, Buzzfeed and the Daily Mail. He's an aspiring online journalist with a key interest in sports, and has written for the Mirror Sport and Mail Online.

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