Cartoonist Bill Tidy waited almost 24 hours to be seen in Leicester A&E with serious chest infection

 Bill Tidy waits nearly a day in A&E
Bill Tidy and his daughter Sylvia Credit: Leicestershire Live/BPM Media

Famous cartoonist Bill Tidy waited almost 24 hours at the Leicester Royal Infirmary's accident and emergency department (A&E), his family says.

The 88-year-old was taken to the Midlands hospital in an ambulance for a serious chest infection but had to wait in the vehicle before being admitted.

Mr Tidy, who was born in Tranmere and is known for his cartoons in the Daily Mirror, waited almost a day at on Wednesday, July 20 after arriving in an ambulance.

His family say, his wait in both the emergency van and A&E area caused him distress and exhaustion.

After initially waiting several hours in the back of an ambulance, Mr Tidy had to wait until the next day until a ward bed became available.

Mr Tidy's son Robert waited with him and is said to have made a number of requests for a bed for his father but was continuously told none were available.

'He was literally on a trolley for 17 hours', Bill Tidy's daughter tells ITV Central

After waiting throughout the night Mr Tidy's family said he was given a mobile stretcher which was too small to keep his feet on the following morning.

Sylvia Tidy-Harris, Bill Tidy's daughter described the wait to ITV News Central as "completely unacceptable".

Speaking to ITV News Central she said she believes the lack of communication is the main cause of their situation.

"I personally feel that the way my father has been treated amplifies how a lot of other people have been treated and while we are a private family, on this occasion I have gone completely public."

When taking over from her brother Robert she said she noticed her father's ankles "hanging off the trolley."

She said that at nearly 11pm, "he still didn't have a bed. He was exhausted and he could barely speak or move."

"He was very anxious and very stressed. In the end, it was 24 hours from being taken by ambulance to being admitted to a ward."

"I just don't understand how you can keep taking people in if you don't have beds. The system is broken and likely beyond repair. Nobody should have to go through this."

It comes as the hospital faces a shortage of beds and staff putting staff and patient safety at risk.

Sylvia recognised the pressures the hospital is under. "The staff were wonderful for the most part and it's not their fault but the hospital needs to get organised."

"It was just a series of errors. It could be your grandma or your parents - it could be anyone. It just shouldn't be like this."

"Nurses were running around like crazy, people moaning there weren't enough staff.

"I appreciate all that, the staff are on the whole brilliant, but the management need to get it sorted."

Mr Tidy was taken to Leicester Royal Infirmary after suffering a serious chest infection Credit: BPM Media

Earlier this year healthcare watchdog, the Care Quality Commission (CQC), rated Leicester Royal Infirmary's safety and responsiveness of the department as "requires improvement".

Jon Melbourne, chief operating officer at University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, said medical "teams are working hard to ensure all patients are supported and cared for whilst they wait."

"We are extremely sorry to any patient who has experienced a long wait after they’ve been admitted from our emergency department."

"Our clinicians are doing their best to prioritise patients so they can be cared for in the most appropriate place in our hospitals, however, we do continue to be exceptionally busy."The Trust says an action plan is in place to resolve bed shortages and they hope to reduce the number of people being taken to hospital and create discharge teams to free up beds quickly.