"Mother's belongings left in ambulance "

About: Princess Royal Hospital (Haywards Heath) South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust

(as a relative),

My 87 year old mother was admitted to the Princess Royal Hospital by ambulance at approximately 11.30pm the Tuesday before Christmas. A carrier bag with her dressing gown and bedjacket, also her holdall with her other belongings were carried on to the ambulance by one of the ambulance crew. When I visited my mother the following afternoon neither of her bags were there! On investigation the Ambulance men had left it on the ambulance and had taken it back to Hastings!! (Apparently they were helping out the Haywards Heath ambulance service due to an overload of calls). She was admitted to A & E, then transferred to Balcome Ward with absolutely NOTHING! After I brought the matter to the attention of the Ward staff, who "thought it was strange she had nothing with her" (but didn't think to check) it was finally tracked down and returned to Haywards Heath on the Wednesday evening!

During my first visit to her, the afternoon after she was admitted, I put a £15 card in the tv and she watched tv that evening. On visiting again the following day, they had moved her into another section of the Ward. One would ASSUME her card would be transferred to her new bed, automatically, with the rest of her belongings. Mind you, half of these were found on the table belonging to the next bed and some were even in the next bed's locker so why am I surprised that it wasn't? The next day I couldn't visit her but went the following day, being Christmas Day, to find she couldn't watch the tv as no-one had transferred the card for her from her original bed! Luckily there wasn't anyone in her old bed, the card was still in the tv so I retrieved it but on inserting it into her 'new' tv it didn't work! I rang the Operator from the nex-bed-phone, they confirmed the tv wasn't working! They said as it was a holiday it wouldn't be fixed until the morning but in actual fact, as that was Boxing Day it wasn't fixed then either. The hospital technician repaired it on the Bank Holiday Monday. On release from the hospital on Wednesday I found she had had to purchase ANOTHER card to continue to watch tv on the Tuesday. In my opinion this was £25 for a rip off service of precisely two and a half days!

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