Asthmatic who struggles to breathe ‘lay on ER floor waiting 10 hours’

Becka Jackson, 30, said the system needed “massive” changes after her asthmatic partner Dave Moth had to wait on the floor “to breathe” for 10 hours.

Dave Moth claims he was forced to sleep on the floor for 10 hours at Royal Oldham Hospital A&E
Dave Moth claims he was forced to sleep on the floor for 10 hours at Royal Oldham Hospital A&E

The partner of a man who lay on the A&E floor for 10 hours struggling to breathe has described the ordeal as “terrible” and called for a “massive” change to the NHS.

Dave Moth, 30, from Middleton, Manchester, was taken to hospital by his partner Becka Jackson, 30, after he started vomiting and being short of breath. This is reported by the Manchester Evening News.

Affected Becka, a transportation manager, called 111 around 9pm on June 7 and answered a series of “vague” questions before being told an out-of-hours doctor would call back within six hours.

To her relief, they called back 40 minutes later, but Becka was frustrated at having to answer the same questions all over again and said the “really rude” doctor insisted on speaking to Dave.

“I said, ‘If you listen, you can hear him getting nauseous next to me,'” Becka said.

Becka Jackson and Dave Moth


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But the ordeal only worsened when they were advised to visit the emergency room and arrived at Royal Oldham Hospital, where the receptionist asked the same questions for a third time.

She told the Local Democracy Reporting Service, “I said, ‘I asked the same questions twice, he can’t breathe, I don’t know what else you want to know,'” Becka said.

Truck mechanic Dave was given a card to take into a corridor where some initial medical checks were being carried out, Becka added.

But then they were left with “no communication at all” and had to endure a “horrendous” 10-hour wait while Dave was on the floor.

She said; “If someone says, ‘I’m going to the ER OldhamI would say “don’t bother” – a guy sat in a bed in a corridor for 20 hours.

“Yes, the NHS is free. Yes, we are very lucky. But you know what, if I felt so bad I thought I was going to die, I’d much rather be at home than lying on a bed in a hallway for 20 hours.”

He sleeps on chairs at Royal Oldham Hospital A&E


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People are sitting around, no one knows where they are going because it’s not very well signposted,” she added.

“Once the checks are complete, go and sit in a waiting room. A woman, a fairly elderly lady, had been there for six hours. She was in her pajamas and in great pain.

“When we got there there were 10 ambulances outside the ER – I went back to my car and there was a row of beds down the aisle.”

Becka added that she’s not blaming the doctors, nurses or receptionists — but pointing the finger at “power-crazed people who look at spreadsheets and not the real world.”

While some faced long waits, she also lashed out at people leaving after being told to take over-the-counter medicines like acetaminophen, ibuprofen and Gaviscon – and in one case she was told to rest.

The couple hails from Middleton, Greater Manchester


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Becka has called for a “massive” change to the system following her ordeal

Becka also described how doctors would sometimes step over patients on the floor and “snort and gasp” as people took time to collect themselves when they were finally seen.

Dave was finally seen at 8.30am the next morning, having arrived at the emergency room just before 11pm the night before.

He was diagnosed with a sore throat, which caused nausea and an asthma attack.

But since her ordeal, Becka has called for a major overhaul of 111’s questions and the process for guiding patients, or a serious increase in GP appointment availability.

“You can’t expect people to be in the ER and nobody to talk to you,” she said.

“There’s just nothing, you just sit there in silence, the doctor stepping over you as you sleep on the floor.

She added: “It’s not the staff’s fault, they’re under a lot of pressure, but something has to change because it’s really not going in the right direction. I don’t know what the solution is, but there must be something.”

David Jago, chief officer at Oldham Care Organisation, which runs the Royal Oldham Hospital, has responded to Rebecca’s concerns about A&E.

He said: “Like many emergency departments across the country, we have seen a sharp increase in the number of patients using our services, putting additional pressure on staff and causing some unavoidable wait times.

“The safety of our patients is our top priority and patients are being evaluated in order of clinical need.

“We apologize to anyone who has been waiting for treatment or had a bad experience during one of our busier times and would encourage people to get in touch with our PALs team to discuss any aspect of the care received, with which they are not satisfied.

“We urge everyone to help us by accessing the right services at the right time. A&E is for urgent and life-threatening emergencies.

“We recommend calling NHS 111 for advice on treatment if you are unsure of where to go.”

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