Investigation as patient dies in A&E waiting room at Russells Hall Hospital
An investigation has been launched after a patient died in the waiting room of the A&E department at Russells Hall Hospital.
The person died in Russells Hall's emergency waiting room in November, the NHS trust which runs the Dudley hospital confirmed today.
Diane Wake, chief executive of the Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust, said: "I can confirm we have had one death in the waiting room of our emergency department in November 2017 and this is currently under investigation.
"No patient has died on a stretcher in the corridor as has been reported in the media."
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The investigation comes as new figures revealed that one third of patients arriving at Russells Hall by ambulance faced delays in excess of 30 minutes in the final week of 2017.
The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust saw 820 ambulances arrive, with 268 waiting for up to an hour and 33 for longer than an hour.
The trust also came under increasing strain in the run up to Christmas, with official statistics showing there were no critical care beds free at Russells Hall for five of the seven days from December 18.
Meanwhile bed occupancy rates across the Black Country and Staffordshire regularly exceeded 90 per cent over the week before New Year's Day - higher than the recommended 'safe' figure of 85 per cent.
NHS England this week told hospitals across the country to delay pre-planned operations and routine outpatient appointments until the end of the month due to severe winter pressures.
Up to 55,000 could be delayed, but officials said it was hoped the move will free up senior hospital doctors to triage more A&E patients, be available to advice GPs and ensure that patients in hospitals are reviewed twice each day to help timely discharges.