A PATIENT has told how she was woken in her bed at York Hospital at 2.30am and moved to another ward, while suffering from pneumonia.

Pensioner Kay Denton, 70, from the Stockton Lane area, claimed she was delirious and covered in sweat when a nurse pulled off her blankets and told her: "You are going to another ward."

She gathered her possessions and then sat in a wheelchair to be transferred from Ward 22 to G1, and was having delusions on the journey because of her fever.

She said that, speaking as a former auxiliary nurse at the hospital, she did not feel she was shown the care and compassion patients would have received in those days and should still receive today.

Her niece, Emma Jackson, expressed concerns that patients who often came into hospital feeling vulnerable and disorientated by a strange environment should be subjected to unexpected upheaval and moved into another clinical area during the night.

She said: "Whilst I appreciate that the National Health Service is being stretched to its limits constantly, I feel that patients are no longer the focus of this great institution, and targets, budget constraints and staff cuts mean that care is being compromised."

Hospital chief executive Patrick Crowley has apologised to her for the 'distress and upset' her aunt suffered by being disturbed in the middle of the night on February 4, when the hospital was on red alert and under extreme pressure.

He said: "By midnight, the only beds available were in surgery, which is ward G1. At this time, ward 22 was still experiencing new admissions on to the ward, therefore we had to transfer patients safely from ward 22 down into the beds on ward G1."

A hospital spokeswoman said patients sometimes needed to be moved to accommodate a more seriously ill patient but staff would only do this when it was 'absolutely necessary.' She added that the hospital remained on red alert.

Mrs Denton's complaint echoes that of Helen Thorne, 54, from Camblesforth, who told The Press earlier this month how she was staying in the hospital following an operation on her hand when she was woken at 1.15am and moved into a temporary ward set up in an extended stay area, sleeping on an enhanced trolley regularly used for short stay patients.