Inaccurate media report

29 May 2022, 11 a.m.

Our hospitals thrive and excel on the dedication and commitment of our staff. This has been seen time and again during the pandemic and the continued sustained pressure in our Emergency Departments (EDs).

The Sunday Mirror has published a story that is misleading and incorrect about how some people are cared for in our EDs. We understand that this article may worry people and stop them from seeking medical care when they need it.

We also know how hard our staff work to care for others, to keep people safe, and there is a direct impact on morale from such inaccurate reporting.

Our staff take the utmost care to ensure that patients who are at the end of their life are treated with respect and dignity. Whenever a patient is at the end of life, they are moved into side rooms as a matter of urgency.

In order to manage high patient numbers, we use ‘cohort’ areas in our EDs to safely care for people. This means we can ensure ambulances and paramedics can be released back to deal with 999 calls, to help people with life threatening conditions. Cohort areas not used for end of life care.

The time that patients in our ED spend in a cohort area varies according to demand but averages 5-6 hours; these cohort areas are a temporary measure and a new, larger department is under construction.

Across Gloucestershire there remains significant pressures on our Emergency Departments and the wider health and care system. As a result, the waiting times for urgent care can often be longer than we would like.

However, even under extremely challenging circumstances, the safety, dignity and respect of every patient is always our overriding concern and allegations that ‘end of life’ patients are treated any differently is absolutely wrong.

We also do everything we can to provide same-sex care in our Emergency Departments, even though these areas are outside the scope of the NHS Guidance on Same-Sex accommodation. We have a very clear set of standards that ensure we maintain the privacy and dignity of our patients.

We remain absolutely committed to delivering the best possible care for our patients, for our communities and with our colleagues. We recognise that the unrelenting pressures can impact on waiting times and experience of people using our services, but we continue to all work hard to give the best possible care.

A formal complaint has been made to the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) and the Trust is requesting a full apology from the Sunday Mirror for colleagues.