The 84-year-old grandfather died after spending six hours in a queue at Coventry’s University Hospital as his daughter pleaded with overworked staff for help.
London – A pensioner died after spending six hours in a queue of trolleys at A&E.
Donald Driver, 84, was only seen by medics after he slid off a trolley – six hours after arriving in an ambulance at the ‘rammed’ unit with his daughter, Emma.
However, he died minutes later.
Miss Driver, 31, had dialled 999 after her usually stoic father complained of severe stomach pain. She noticed it was swollen, a condition he had suffered a year earlier.
Examinations last year found he had a small hole in his oesophagus which had been causing liquid to build up in his abdomen.
But Miss Driver said that when they arrived at Coventry’s University Hospital on October 13, it took two hours for paramedics to hand him over to hospital staff in the corridor. Then, nurses ‘would not listen’ to her as her father lay in a queue of up to 40 trolleys, she added.
‘It seemed to be a case of, “We know best”,’ Miss Driver said yesterday. The former nurse, from Tile Hill, Coventry, added: ‘I have lost my father due to the NHS failing and there is nothing that can bring him back. I showed one nurse a picture of Dad’s stomach when he had the episode last year. I must have spoken to six of them in total. I knew he needed to be seen but they weren’t listening. Nobody looked at him, no pain relief was given. It was horrific.’
Miss Driver spent 12 years in the profession, working as a nurse at the rehabilitation hospital in Leamington Spa. She gave up that job two years ago to spend more time caring for her father, who spent his working life looking after street lights in Coventry.
Miss Driver said the first time her father was seen by medics was after she screamed for help when he slid off the trolley vomiting.
‘The nurses helped get him back on the trolley but as he lay down and I saw his face, I knew he was gone,’ Miss Driver said.
‘The nurses shouted “resus” [resuscitation] and he was taken away, but after three attempts to revive him I asked them to stop.’
Her father was pronounced dead at 1am on Monday, October 14.
‘My dad was my world,’ she said. ‘Although he was elderly, he wasn’t dying. I believe had my father been prioritised, or I had been listened to and taken seriously, then my father would still be here.’
In a statement, University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire Trust offered ‘sincere and heartfelt sympathies to Mr Driver’s family and friends’.
Mr Driver, a father and grandfather of one, leaves behind ‘devastated’ wife Andrea, 72.
The hospital trust had previously said that weekend had been ‘abnormally busy’.