"We were told there were no beds"

About: Royal Gwent Hospital / General Surgery

(as a relative),

My 89 year old mother was referred to the Royal Gwent Hospital yesterday by her doctor. He rang the registrar is advance and my sister took her down thinking that she might have to wait a while but would then have a bed and the treatment she needed. She arrived at 2. 00pm and I joined her at 6. 30pm. My mother had seen a doctor a couple of hours earlier but that was it.

I can only describe it as complete chaos, there must be a system but what it is is anybody's guess. There were many elderly people just waiting, some hadn't even seen a doctor. To cut a long story short, (an we were one of the lucky ones), we waited until after 10. 00pm to then be told there were no beds and she would have to spend the night on the assessment ward. This is a mixed ward with what looks like temporary beds. We even offered to take her home and bring her next morning but were told if we did this we would have to start the process all over again. I am not complaining about the nurses or doctors they are working in impossible conditions. Surely something can be done to get a better system in place and give them some help. I would pay extra taxes for this if I was certain they would be spent properly.

More about:
Do you have a similar story to tell? Tell your story & make a difference ››


Response from Julian Hayman, Internal Communications Manager, Communications, Aneurin Bevan Health Board

Hello bjs,

Thank you for taking the time to post your feedback and letting us know about your mother's recent experience in the Royal Gwent Hospital.

From the information in your feedback, it would appear that your mother was admitted to the surgical assessment unit. This unit comprises a large waiting room, triage area and 9 assessment trolleys (they are not temporary beds). All patients are seen and triaged by a nurse and junior doctor on arrival and then managed according to clinical need/priority.

The bay is mixed, as it is an emergency assessment area where patients would usually only stay for a few hours before being admitted to a bed.

However, over the last few weeks our bed availability has been significantly compromised due to a number of factors (high numbers of medical patients admitted, lower than usual discharges and patients delayed for community placement). Unfortunately, therefore, some of our patients have been waiting longer than usual.

I apologise for the fact that your mother had to wait so long and understand how distressful this must have been. I hope that this helps to explain the situation. However, if you feel you would like to complain formally, then please email our Putting Things Right department via: Puttingthingsright.ABHB@wales.nhs.uk

I hope that your mother is making a full recovery.

Best wishes,


  • {{helpful}} {{helpful == 1 ? "person thinks" : "people think"}} this response is helpful