A Swindon woman with stage four cancer waited 27 hours for a bed after being referred to Great Western Hospital.

She and her husband, who do not wish to be identified because some relatives are unaware of her diagnosis, attended the medical expected unit when a high temperature prompted concerns about a possible infection.

When they arrived at 9amt on Tuesday, the patient was placed on a drip and treated at a seat in the waiting room.

At 6pm, she was moved into a consulting room with two other patients.

Satisfied that she could at least lie on a trolley now, her husband went home and sent an email complaining to the regional director of the NHS.

His wife was still waiting when he returned at 11am, but a bed was found at 12.30pm.

The 57-year-old from West Swindon told the Adver: “It’s appalling. I’m surprised anyone survives dealing with this hellhole.

“She has little to no immunity and it was packed with people coughing, so if she didn't already have an infection, she probably caught one there.

“Apparently, she wasn’t a priority and there were no beds.

“A procession of senior managers came to apologise afterwards. We are dreading ever having to come back.”

They are also unhappy that it took eight weeks for her cancer treatment to begin after the diagnosis.

A Great Western Hospital spokesperson said: “Our emergency care services have been very busy in the past few months, with a high number of attendances.

“We are sorry to those people who have faced long waits to be admitted.

“A senior member of staff spoke with her during her wait to explain and apologise for the situation.

“Staff always try to prioritise side room availability but, on this occasion, were unfortunately unable to isolate the patient.

“Whilst some patients might be waiting in MEU to be admitted to a ward, they will still be receiving the necessary diagnostics and treatments needed. Patients are moved to a bed as soon as one becomes available.”

“Although this was within NHS England guidelines, we are sorry that she had a prolonged wait between her cancer diagnosis and start of treatment.

“With increased demand on the NHS, waiting lists have also grown with more people needing treatment.

“We are committed to ensuring we see more patients requiring cancer treatment sooner and remain above average in relation to waiting times for cancer.

“Our performance has improved recently, thanks to the work of our teams to run additional clinics with extra staff to help reduce our waiting times.”