A 17-year-old suffered a “terrifying 14-hour overnight wait” to be seen at Southend Hospital after being rushed to A&E by his dad.

James Mercer, from Southend, was taken to hospital on Monday night after suffering excruciating chest pain brought on by glandular fever.

Despite arriving at Southend Hospital at 10pm, the family claim he was not seen by a doctor until 7am the following morning.

The youngster and his family have said they do not blame the hospital, or the staff, but say the A&E department was far too busy for them to cope.

Hospital bosses have apologised to James and his family following the long wait.

The teenager had been admitted to hospital in February due to heart inflammation caused by glandular fever and his family have said they would’ve hoped he would have been a priority due to his medical history.

James said: “It was busier on Monday than I have ever seen, it was insane and there were so many people.

“It only thinned out in the early morning.

“This is by no means a criticism of the doctors and nurses working in A&E, they all do an amazing job, but the constraint on staffing is far too much.

“I would have thought symptoms accompanying and related to a pre-existing heart condition would be dealt with at least within four hours but I found myself having to wait for 14.”

James had feared that his dizziness, high heart rate and tiredness could be caused by an issue with his heart.

“In February, I was showing signs of a heart attack and was not seen for hours, despite my file having been red flagged as urgent,” James said.

Diane Sarkar, chief nursing and quality officer at Mid and South Essex NHS Trust, said: “We are sorry that James had to wait longer to be seen than we would have liked.

“Southend’s Emergency Department often has to deal with very high attendances, sometimes over 350 a day.

People are triaged on arrival and are then treated in order of clinical need.”