"Left in cold for five hours"

About: Addenbrooke's Hospital / Ophthalmology Addenbrooke's Hospital / Rehabilitation

(as a relative),

She was admitted following a stroke which had affected her vision. During her stay they could not provide her with the diet she needed as she is diabetic and the food and drink was not appropriate. She experienced severe diahorea and when we provided food that she could eat it went missing within 24 hours. She then suffered 24 hours starvation, and she always hungry which did not assist her recovery.

On another occasion she was taken, from Lewin Rehab, to the eye clinic where she had an appointment but was not seen at the the booked time and was left by an external entrance door wearing light clothing for 5 hours (unseen). She was rescued when the ward phoned to find out where she was and they were told that she was not booked in. I was present when the appointment was made and heard the receptionist tell her she would have to wait 2 hours. When she returned to the ward she was extremely cold and I fear close to hyperthermia. The ward did not check her temperature and she was left to warm up best she could by her wearing dressing gown in bed. She was not offered a hot drink nor a hot water bottle and her temperature was not checked although she told the nurses that she was bitterly cold. She felt ill for the next few days. It did not help that the ward was cold and drafty and her bed was by a drafty window.

When she was discharged 4 weeks after admission she was not seen by a doctor to discuss her new medication, nor given a discharge letter, nor told of what follow-up procedures would be in place or what she had to do, ie contact her own doctor.

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Response from Stroke Association, Stroke Association


We noticed your post wanted to let you know about the Stroke Helpline. I was sorry to hear of your relative’s stroke and your concerns about her care.

Our Stroke Helpline is there for anyone who has been affected by stroke. You may want to know more about stroke and its effects, be looking for practical information and support, or simply need someone to talk to. The Stroke Helpline is open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 9.00am to 5.00pm and on Thursday from 9.00am to 3.30pm. The helpline number is 0303 30 33 100. You can also email us at info@stroke.org.uk. We also have a range of services across the UK, providing information, advice and support to stroke survivors and their families. You can find out if there is a service in your area from our website www.stroke.org.uk/finding-support

Finally, you can also find lots of information about stroke on our website at www.stroke.org.uk.

I hope that this is helpful and please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to discuss anything further.

Stroke Information Service


Stroke Association staff are not medically trained and the information provided does not replace information given to you by your own healthcare provider.

  • {{helpful}} {{helpful == 1 ? "person thinks" : "people think"}} this response is helpful

Response from Complaints and PALS Manager, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for taking the time to let us know about your relative's experiences when she was admitted to Addenbrooke's. I am very sorry to hear that several aspects of care were not of the standard you expected and that we would wish to provide, and this has clearly caused distress for your relative and her family.

We would be pleased to investigate these issues in more detail and provide a response to you personally - please do not hesitate to contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on 01223 216756 or email pals@addenbrookes.nhs.uk. The Trust is grateful for your feedback, as this helps us to improve our services, and I have forwarded your comments to senior staff at the Lewin so that they are aware of these events.

Once again, I am sorry to learn that you were unhappy with the care provided.

Complaints and PALS Manager