A&E problems caused by people turning up for treatment, says hospitals trust

East Kent's A&E units face constant pressure (stock image)

Problems inside our accident and emergency departments are caused by people turning up for treatment, the east Kent hospitals trust has said.

It spoke out after a photograph emerged of an elderly man lying on the floor of the A&E department at the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford.

Other patients have endured lengthy waits to be seen by medical staff at both the William Harvey and the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital in Margate.

Conditions inside the unit will be of concern to hospital chiefs, frontline staff and patients as the notoriously busy winter season approaches.

But the East Kent Hopsitals University NHS Foundation Trust has warned potential patients to think about how they use its services.

Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital in Margate

Spokesman Sarah Landers said: “We are reminding people to know their local health services so they can use these services wisely.

“We are asking people to use health services appropriately and reserve A&E for emergencies and life-threatening conditions.

“We take patient safety and the overall quality of care we provide our patients extremely seriously.

“Because the most critically ill patients are seen first some people wait longer before being admitted to a ward or discharged.

“During this time patients continue to be seen by medical staff, investigations carried out and treatment given.”

The latest figures show that last month more than 100 patients per day endured waits of more than four hours to be seen at the accident departments in Margate and Ashford.

Health campaigners say the conditions in the units are evidence of a continued crisis within east Kent’s hospitals.

At the start of this month the trust failed to lift itself out of the improvement required rating set by inspectors from the Care Quality Commission.


  1. My daughter was rushed to Ashford hospital yesterday afternoon. The waiting rooms and hallways are crammed with other very poorly people on chairs, ambulance beds, standing and sitting on the floor whilst waiting to be seen by Doctors.

    It is very upsetting seeing all these poorly people waiting to be seen.

    The nurses and doctors are swamped with patients but are doing a fantastic job with the resources they have available. I have the greatest admiration for all NHS workers who are under such stress and pressure.

    It is now 11:30 the following day, my daughter is still on a drip and has still not been given a bed as there are none available.

    Maybe it is time for all of us to volunteer extra payments which are directed straight to the NHS so that they can employ more staff, increase beds AND BRING BACK CANTERBURY HOSPITAL SERVICES!!

  2. Definitely bring back A& E at Canterbury. We have an expanding population in Kent, more elderly people with multiple condoitions and fewer proper GPs – 10 minutes with a locum is not the same as 10 minutes with a GP who has treated you regularly. Sadly people end up in A& E when they really would rather not be ther

  3. 2 weeks ago I was at QEQM at it was 9 hours before I finally got admitted. There were a few other people who were longer than me. At one point on the Monday evening there were 7 ambulances waiting unload. The staff worked very hard even though some people were quite nasty about the waits. There were one or two that could have gone to a minor injuries but almost everyone there needed to be there


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