A patient has told of seeing an elderly woman sitting on the floor and others waiting hours for treatment in the A&E department at the Royal Sussex County Hospital.

They heard doctors telling people they needed to wait seven hours to be seen after being triaged.

Doctors at the Brighton hospital's emergency department face increasing pressure, with dozens of people being treated in corridors due to a lack of space.

The patient, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “Half of the people there were standing up, there was a woman in her 70s or 80s who was sitting on the floor because there was nowhere else for her to sit.

“What took so long was the waiting. It was up on the screens and was going up to four hours, five hours, six hours, seven hours.

The Argus: The Royal Sussex County HospitalThe Royal Sussex County Hospital (Image: Sussex News and Pictures)

“The people around me, elderly people in their 70s or 80s, often with their middle-aged children, they didn’t look in a good state at all, they were so old and fragile.

"Their kids were saying to them ‘are you OK holding on for another three hours, Dad?’ or ‘are you OK holding on for a few hours Mum?’."

The patient went to A&E with concussion. They had initially called the NHS’s 111 service.

They said they were seen "pretty fast" on arrival and were waiting to discuss results of scans with a doctor.

They said they were told that seats were “only for ill people” and friends and family members of patients were standing around.

The patient said they arrived at the hospital at around 5pm on October 16 and left shortly after midnight.

The Argus has revealed that dozens of patients are being treated in a corridor in A&E due to lack of space.

Staff have told of seeing as many as 43 patients being treated on beds in the corridors as the cubicles were all full.

When The Argus visited the department consultants and nurses told of the immense pressure they are under - but stressed that it was still the best place for people needing emergency care.

The revelations come nearly a year after The Argus first reported that patients were being treated and dying in the corridors.

Dr Andy Heeps, chief operating officer at University Hospitals Sussex NHS Trust which runs the Royal Sussex, said: "The pressures on patient services - both locally and elsewhere - are incredibly high, and rising. Our staff are doing incredible things, every day.

The Argus: Dr Andy HeepsDr Andy Heeps (Image: University Hospitals Sussex)

Read the full hospital statement : 'We're the best place for you, we'll give you the care you need, please come to us'

"Nobody can simply make those pressures go away, but we can and must do everything possible to make sure patients and their carers get the best possible care.

"The message to patients is simple - if you genuinely need emergency care, then A&E remains the best place for you to go. If you need help or advice and it isn't an emergency, there are other places to go which are better - and often quicker - options for you."

Dr Heeps said the hospital was "acting now" to try and ease the pressure on staff, including opening a new surgical assessment unit in Brighton.