Why we chose to investigate the dire situation at Leicester's A&E

Plus: Reserve your spot for AGM, Friday Features gets a new look, and more

Photo of a paramedic exiting an ambulance. Credit: Sturti

In this month's issue of The Newsroom 📨

  • Our latest investigation
  • Anniversary event and AGM
  • Friday Features is now On the Record

We heard your stories

In November, former psychiatric social worker and The Gazette reader Malcolm Hunter was admitted to A&E after waking up with "debilitating" pain in his lower back. He was eventually diagnosed with myeloma, a type of blood cancer. Still, the journey to diagnosis wasn't as straightforward as it sounds – he had to navigate a poor ambulance service, extraordinary wait times, a lack of beds, faulty medical equipment, a lack of staff and inexperienced agency workers. To top it all off, he witnessed the terrible abuse of NHS staff during one of Leicester Royal Infirmary's (LRI) most challenging periods. 

When Malcolm was discharged, he reached out to us. He had written up an account of everything he had experienced and seen. His story, published in our Voices column in January, kickstarted our lengthiest investigative feature to date.

My experience of emergency admission to Leicester Royal Infirmary
Starting on the 3 November this year, I embarked on a personal journey that provided me with a close-up view of the current state of our underfunded and increasingly beleaguered NHS.

After publishing Malcolm's story, we knew others had similar experiences – so we turned to our readers. In a callout published on our website a week later, we asked healthcare workers to reach out and tell us about the current situation at Leicester's hospitals. We had about half a dozen people get in touch. While we didn't use everyone's testimonials, it was helpful background information – it revealed the situation at LRI was dire. Social media users also got in touch. Two patients told us their shocking care experiences at A&E. These interviews laid the groundwork for our investigation, bolstered with local data from NHS England on several issues that kept cropping up.

Staff and patients expose turmoil at A&E amidst overcrowding and understaffing
First-hand accounts from frontline workers and patients reveal the crisis gripping Leicester Royal Infirmary’s A&E department.

Please do let us know what you think of this investigation. Much work went into it, and we want to do more like this. It's encouraging when people send us tip-offs and get involved.

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