The new £22.2 million paper-free records system at Bradford hospitals is causing long delays for patients waiting to get medication and go home.

Former Queensbury councillor Michael Walls contacted the Telegraph & Argus this week to complain about a four-hour wait he experienced at Bradford Royal Infirmary’s discharge lounge.

He said he and four other patients, all recovering from surgery, were kept waiting for hours before finally getting their prescriptions and being allowed home.

A spokesman for Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust admitted there was “a temporary issue” with the new Electronic Patient Record (EPR) system, causing some delays with issuing prescriptions. But the spokesman stressed the Trust was working hard to resolve it.

He said: “Unfortunately we are currently experiencing some delays in issuing medications to patients waiting in our discharge lounge at Bradford Royal Infirmary.

“We have recently introduced our new Electronic Patient Record (EPR) system, which is an enormous service change which will help us provide outstanding care for our patients. This is causing some delays with issuing prescriptions but we are working hard to resolve this temporary issue.

“We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause and would ask patients to please bear with us. On average the waiting times for patients in the discharge lounge are the same as prior to EPR being introduced, but we recognise fully that there are delays at the moment and we hope to improve this situation very soon.”

Mr Walls, a retired police officer, said staff in the discharge lounge were fed-up of bearing the brunt of patients’ gripes over lengthy delays to get home.

He said hospital staff told him the lounge was meant to be a way of speeding up patients’ discharge and emptying ward beds.

“The idea’s a good one but it backfires spectacularly on the patients if they are being held up for hours when they think they are about to get home. It’s not comfortable waiting.

“At that stage people just want to be off to get on with getting better in the comfort of their own home,” he said.

On Wednesday Mr Walls, who had been in hospital for bladder surgery, said he and four others all filled in complaint forms before they finally got to leave.

“It’s not acceptable to have ill people sat around for over three hours with relatives waiting to pick them up,” he said.