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Paget hospital on high alert

PUBLISHED: 15:24 18 November 2009 | UPDATED: 15:40 03 July 2010

THE alert status at the James Paget University Hospital has been raised to its highest status, black, during the last week as it emerged a retired nurse had been forced to take care of his sick partner.

THE alert status at the James Paget University Hospital has been raised to its highest status, black, during the last week as it emerged a retired nurse had been forced to take care of his sick partner.

Although the hospital is not currently on its highest status, the alert level was raised to black on Monday, which meant it was under incredible pressure.

Alan Herbert, 61, has been caring for Susan Goodwin at the James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston for more than a month as she suffers from a degenerative lung condition which needs round-the-clock, specific care.

He stepped in to care for her after she had been in hospital for several months - and was allowed by hospital staff - because he believed she was not getting the specialist care she needed as the hospital was so busy.

He said he felt his 49-year-old partner was “better off” being looked after by himself and hospital bosses admitted they are “very busy.”

Mr Herbert said: “The staff are so busy at that hospital it is unbelievable. I am not knocking them because most of them do a great job but I am concerned patients lives are being put at risk because there is just not enough staff or money in the NHS at the moment.

“I have witnessed patients not getting the drugs they need on time, elderly people being left so they fall out of bed and staff being rushed off their feet to the point that patients could be abandoned.

“As a qualified nurse I felt helpless standing by so I have offered my services. Susan's needs are very complex and I don't feel as though anyone else can look after her adequately.”

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