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NHS trust boss says hospitals are ‘worst place to be’ in frank admission about dire state of crippled health service

  • Nick Hulme, who runs Ipswich and Colchester hospitals, branded them ‘not safe’
  • The head of an NHS trust said the public had come to accept the unacceptable
  • He said: ‘hey are horrible places – the food’s rubbish, we don’t let you sleep’ 

Hospitals are ‘the worst place you can possibly be in the health system’ – according to the chief executive of an NHS trust.

Nick Hulme, who runs Ipswich and Colchester hospitals, branded them ‘not safe places’, adding the public had ‘come to accept the totally unacceptable’.

He said: ‘They are horrible places – the food’s rubbish, we don’t let you sleep, we don’t let you know what’s going on.’ 

Revealing he had stayed in some ‘fairly dodgy’ hotels in his time, he added none of them were places where visitors were forced to ‘share a bathroom with six people’.

Nick Hulme (pictured with Boris Johnson at Colchester Hospital), voltaren supposte 100 mg posologia who runs Ipswich and Colchester hospitals, branded them ‘not safe places’, adding the public had ‘come to accept the totally unacceptable’

Mr Hulme (pictured) said: ‘They are horrible places – the food’s rubbish, we don’t let you sleep, we don’t let you know what’s going on’

‘They’re awful and we’ve got to get that message out,’ the head of East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust told a meeting of the local Integrated Care Board.

‘They’re not safe places and, unless you really need to be there, you shouldn’t be there.’ 

Two weeks ago, a patient who went to Ipswich Hospital’s A&E department with stomach pains complained she was put on a maternity ward and waited four days to see a doctor.

Michelle Emmerson-Grey, 44, was only seen by someone after she tweeted Mr Hulme.

‘To go four days without seeing a doctor and still be in agony is ludicrous,’ she said, adding the system was ‘not working’.

The hospital was also criticised in 2018 for using taxpayers’ money on at least 13 ‘virginity restoring procedures’ between 2012 and 2017, where the hymen is stitched or reconstructed.

Mr Hulme has worked in the NHS for more than 35 years, becoming chief executive at The Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust in 2013 and doubling up with the same role at Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust from May 2016. 

The trusts merged in July 2018.

Official figures show 356 patients waited more than 12 hours to be admitted to the trust’s A&E departments in December, with another 9,324 waiting at least four hours.

Two weeks ago, a patient who went to Ipswich Hospital’s A&E department with stomach pains complained she was put on a maternity ward and waited four days to see a doctor. Michelle Emmerson-Grey (pictured), 44, was only seen by someone after she tweeted Mr Hulme

Nick Hulme, who runs Ipswich (pictured) and Colchester hospitals, branded them ‘not safe places’, adding the public had ‘come to accept the totally unacceptable’

Overall, just 66 per cent of A&E patients saw a doctor within four hours, compared to a national target of 95 per cent.

Hospitals have been struggling with winter pressures, a backlog caused by Covid-19 lockdowns, bed-blocking and strikes.

At the ICB meeting on Tuesday, Mr Hulme referred to the pre-pandemic era when the hospitals he controls would have been close to declaring a major incident if five patients were without a bed overnight in A&E.

He added: ‘Now, if it’s five, we’re really pleased. We think it’s a good night.’ 

A trust spokesman yesterday said he had been responding to a question in the public meeting about community care.

‘[Hospitals are] not always the best place to be cared for,’ she said.

Asked what Mr Hulme was doing to improve conditions for patients, she added: ‘He’s doing a lot.’

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