Nottingham QMC: Father dies after ‘9-hour emergency room with heart attack’

Jacob Roche

June Roche says her husband Jacob ‘sat alone, untreated and had pain in the emergency room for nine hours’ (Photo: June Roche)

A father of two, 48, died after being left untreated in a waiting room at the emergency room for nine hours before being looked after by specialists, his wife claims.

June Roche said she rushed her husband Jake to Nottingham’s Queen’s Medical Center last month after experiencing a flare-up while recovering from a recent heart attack.

Earlier that month, he had seen his GP after suffering what he suspected were panic attacks, only to be told he had actually had two ‘massive but silent heart attacks’ as well as three strokes that left him partially blind.

He was taken on blood thinners and sent home on December 9, but two days later he began to feel ‘pain in his chest and neck’.

She revealed the ordeal on Twitter this week, and Ms. Roche said they arrived at A&E at 6 p.m. 22.30 on 11 December, but that they were not seen by heart attack specialists before kl. 7.30 the following morning.

She wrote in Central Bylines, a Midlands-based offshoot of the left-leaning Byline Times, saying: ‘He spent that Friday night in an ramshackle but eerie quiet emergency room. He was cold, blind, alone and clearly had a heart attack.

‘He was sitting in the reception area until 7.30 the next morning, when he was finally transferred to the emergency cardiology department at another hospital.’

Ms Roche claims she was forced to wait in her car for most of the time her husband spent in the emergency room waiting room and had to tell the front desk over the phone that he had a heart attack.

She added: ‘There was only one nurse at the desk, I was worried she might not understand the seriousness of his situation at first.

‘Kl. At 3am I persuaded the security guard to shut me in to give Jake his phone charger and a drink.

‘He looked shockingly pale and looked very tired. He was freezing cold and in a lot of pain. I was making trouble, but Jake said no. He pointed out that there was only one doctor on duty and asked me to look around.

‘There were some really sick people there, some lying on the floor and others with the ash-pale pallor in their faces, which causes severe pain.

‘The nurse looked exhausted. The situation was not her fault and she was doing her best – if I had started the trouble, it would have used valuable energy that she would have to spend on these patients. ‘

Roche, who did not have Covid, spent another 36 hours fighting for his life in the emergency department of cardiology before his condition worsened, prompting doctors to rush him to intensive care, where they were unable to save him.

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His wife added: ‘Maybe Jake would not have survived no matter what was done. But the long wait, the pain and the fatigue he endured in the emergency room simply could not have helped him. ‘

Her shocking report, which comes amid warnings that the NHS is facing a staff crisis, sparked a stream of concern on social media.

Rachel Clarke, an Oxford-based NHS palliative care physician who has campaigned against conservative health policies, said: ‘I defy anyone for reading her devastating account of his last hours and claiming the NHS is not overwhelmed and sinking.’

Nottingham University Hospital’s NHS Trust, which operates Queen’s Medical Center, has been contacted for comment.

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