Why we need a full A&E at Cheltenham General Hospital

When Cllr Guy Maughfling felt chest pains on Tuesday night, he was taken to hospital in an ambulance. He reveals his experience here and tells us why it’s important we return to a full A&E at Cheltenham General Hospital. On July 1, the A&E will reopen to its pre-pandemic service - not a full 24/7 A&E department.

"On 1st June I felt a pain around my heart, and my family insisted I call NHS 111.

After going through my symptoms, an ambulance was sent and the ambulance staff put me at my ease and did an ECG, explaining what they were doing. They said my heart looked fine, but to be sure they took me to A&E.

This meant going to Gloucester as the A&E in Cheltenham (that I went to so often with my father) is currently closed. 

I arrived there at around 7.30pm to an overcrowded hospital with hard working, overstretched staff, moving everywhere at pace.

After a blood test I was put in a crowded corridor to await the results. Five hours later at 1am, I finally got to see a doctor.

The corridor was unbelievable. Distressed people in wheelchairs, shouts of “it’s torture” followed by groans, plus the usual harassed medics, cheerful ambulance staff, bloody faces and broken people.

Eventually, the doctor came and patiently explained that my heart and lungs were strong. I got home at 1.45am.

It was an incredible experience that highlights the need to return to a fully functioning and fully staffed A&E at Cheltenham General Hospital. Our NHS staff and their patients deserve nothing less".

- Guy Maughling, Cheltenham Borough Councillor for College ward

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