Mum waits three days on chair in A&E in 'excruciating pain' with broken ankle

Ms Rees says she was left waiting for days in 'excruciating pain' in A&E.

A mum-of-two says she was made to wait on a chair in A&E for three days after breaking her ankle.

Leah Rees was taken by ambulance to The Grange University Hospital in Cwmbran on Sunday, January 16, after an accident while out with friends.

After initially being triaged, given an X-ray and a leg cast, the 26-year-old said she was told to stay in the emergency department and wait for a bed to open up on a ward.

However she said she ended up spending a "nightmare" three days on an "uncomfortable" chair in the unit where she was advised not to eat or drink as she needed an urgent ankle operation.

It comes after it was revealed on Thursday (January 20) that the NHS backlog in Wales is at a record high.

NHS waiting time figures for December 2021 found the average number of attendances per day at emergency departments decreased by 11.3% compared to the previous month but only 66.5% of patients spent less than 4 hours at A&E - the target is 95%.

Leah Rees said: "I was in excruciating pain, I was given no rest for my leg or any pillows, and I was absolutely starving because I was nil by mouth.

"I couldn't even walk to go to the toilet. I just felt like I was ignored for three days."

Leah, from Bargoed, who works as a healthcare assistant in the Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport, claimed when she was finally seen by a doctor he said the wrong cast had been put on her which led to her leg swelling up.

The 26-year-old says she was told to stay in the emergency department until a bed became available.

Ms Rees added: "The doctor couldn't believe the tightness of the cast. He said that the plaster should have never been put on as I was at risk of blood clots.

"They then took the cast off, discharged me from the hospital, and said I'd undergo my operation at St Woolos Hospital in the next few days.

"I'd stayed at the hospital for three days for no reason. I could have been at home in bed.

"They advised me to get a taxi home with a broken ankle and nothing really to support it. I was just shocked at the lack of care."

Leah Rees said she was left 'crying to go home.'

Leah, who also waited three hours for the ambulance to arrive to take her to hospital, said she was "freezing" during her lengthy stay at The Grange with only a fleece to keep her warm.

"I was just crying to go home. I felt like discharging myself. I've got two little girls and my mum has had to take a week off work to look after them," she added.

Leah is now set to undergo an operation at St Woolos Hospital, Newport, where metal pins and plates are to be put in place in her ankle.

Aneurin Bevan University Health Board statement

A spokesman for Aneurin Bevan University Health Board said: "We are sorry that Ms Rees was not happy with the care that she received and we have been in contact with her to discuss her treatment plan and any concerns regarding our services.

"Our hospital services have remained extremely busy in recent weeks and months due to large amounts of very poorly people, Covid-19 restrictions, and staff shortages.

"When patients arrive at our emergency department they are initially assessed by a nurse and their care is prioritised according to the seriousness of their condition with those patients with life-threatening illnesses and injuries seen first.

"Unfortunately this means that patients with less serious conditions are likely to face longer waits at busy times. We apologise for any distress and discomfort such delays cause."