A man suffering chest pains was forced to wait seven hours to see a doctor at Salford Royal Hospital - despite having a history of serious heart problems.
In the latest signs of crippling pressures within the NHS, Roy Ellor has told how he spent the majority of that time sitting in a corridor, even though his doctor had warned he needed urgent hospital treatment.
He had heart surgery three months earlier, but when his symptoms came back his GP rang an ambulance.
He waited in a corridor for three hours before even getting a bed - before being put back onto a plastic chair in the corridor for three more hours until he finally saw a doctor.
Roy said he was ‘utterly shocked’ at the chaos in the department, which had ‘packed’ corridors and ambulances queuing outside.
He said: “After a 25-minute wait an ambulance turned up at the surgery.
“From there, I was then moved to a corridor inside the emergency department and had a wait of three hours, before eventually getting into a cubicle.
Salford Royal Hospital says Roy's experience came at a difficult time.
“A harassed and overworked triage nurse took bloods and performed an ECG, then I was left alone for another hour. Elderly patients were stacked up with no dignity in corridors, and I was then moved to a hard plastic chair and told a doctor would be available in another two to three hours.
“I was utterly shocked and as someone with a serious heart complaint, left terrified that the NHS in Salford was now effectively broken. The safety net of our hospital was gone.”
Salford Royal is one of the government’s go-to hospitals when pointing to successes within the NHS, but figures for January so far show more than one in four patients are waiting four hours to be seen there as Greater Manchester’s hospital system buckles under the strain.
The area’s MP Rebecca Long-Bailey said: “If this is happening in a world class hospital such as Salford Royal, what is the real extent of the crisis in A&E in other parts of the NHS?”
A spokesman for Salford Royal said it could no comment on individual patient cases, but said Roy’s experience was not ‘normal procedure’.
Late November, when he was sent to the hospital, was particularly busy because the trust was unable to discharge patients into social care, she said.