Disabled woman from Swansea hits out at Morriston A&E after having to lie on floor for hours

Kara Williams claimed she was forced to lie on the floor of Morriston Hospital in Swansea Credit: Media Wales

A disabled woman has said she would "rather die" than go back to A&E after claiming she was discriminated against due to her disability.

Kara Williams, 37, of Swansea, claimed she had no alternative but to lie on the floor for hours while waiting to be seen in A&E.

She said no adjustments were made by Morriston Hospital to accommodate her neuropathic pelvic pain - which leaves her in agony if she sits for just a few minutes.

After coughing up blood and experiencing chest tightness, Kara called the GP out-of-hours service on Sunday, 18 June, and was advised visit A&E .

Kara was advised to visit A&E after coughing up blood and experiencing chest tightness over the weekend.

Upon arrival, Kara informed nurses of her disability and asked if reasonable adjustments could be made while she waited to be seen by a doctor.

She brought her own camping chair, but as the pain started to worsen, she moved to kneel and eventually laid on the floor in an attempt to ease the pain. Kara said: "I was laying on the floor and crying in pain. I had my head on my slippers just to try and give me a little bit of comfort.

"Eventually, I had to beg them to give me some of my morphine. Eventually they did come and give me morphine but by that time my pain threshold had gone over so there was very little I could do."There's loads of things they could have done but they didn't suggest one thing. They're completely discriminating against my disability," she claimed.

"I honestly now feel like I don't want to go back to A&E. I'd rather die than go back to A&E. You shouldn't be discouraged from going to seek treatment, especially when I was told by the NHS to go to the hospital."Kara said she discharged herself from hospital at 6pm that evening after spending hours in pain as a result.

She said she was in laying on her side in an awkward position and tried to stay out of the way of other patients but overheard "harsh" comments from some of those around her.

"I didn't want to take up too much space and for other patients to see me crying. I could already hear them talking saying I was mentally ill to be lying on the floor on the dirt. I was upset so I didn't want to explain myself." She said.Kara claimed she tried to discuss alternative options to lying on the floor with hospital staff but was told nothing could be done.

"My disabilities were not catered for and as a result left me lying on the floor in a crowded hospital. Can you imagine how many people are talking about you and staring at you. Because of this heart problem I can't stand because my blood pressure will drop suddenly if I'm stood up. So I can't stand and I can't sit, my only option is to lie down."I wasn't asking to skip the queue or anything," said Kara, "I just wanted to go to another part of the hospital where I could lay on a trolley in a corridor that's not being used. They would know where I was to call me to see the doctor. It was not an unreasonable request at all," she said.

A spokesperson for Swansea Bay University Health Board said they were "very sorry" to hear about Kara's concerns and welcomed the opportunity to discuss them with her directly.Kara said she also asked staff to suggest any other reasonable adjustments but claimed she was told there were sicker patients than her in need of care and the beds were full.

"I don't like to complain, they're all working hard but at the same time I'm only asking for reasonable adjustments because I have a sitting disability due to neuropathic pelvic pain," Kara added.

Kara complained to the ombudsman as a result and was told to talk directly to a senior member of staff if the issue arose again. But when she tried to speak to one last weekend, she claimed she was told no-one was available.

A Swansea Bay University Health Board spokesperson said: "We are very sorry to hear of Ms Williams’ concerns. While we do not appear to have received a formal complaint, we would welcome the opportunity to discuss these concerns with her directly."Like emergency departments across the country, Morriston ED is often very busy. All patients are triaged on arrival. Staff will always prioritise those with the most serious and life-threatening illnesses and injuries. The department was extremely busy over, and after, the weekend, with a high number of extremely unwell patients being treated."Unfortunately, it does mean others can face significantly extended waits after they have been triaged. We would ask people to consider alternative ways of getting help whenever possible. Alternatives to ED include the Minor Injury Unit at Neath Port Talbot Hospital, the NHS Wales 111 website, your GP surgery or local pharmacy."