"I am shocked and horrified to have received this..."
About: Western Eye Hospital Western Eye Hospital London NW1 5QH
Posted via NHS Choices
What I liked
A Security Guard who was so outraged at my elderly aunt's treatment by the Transport Service that they telephoned me 200 miles away on their mobile phone to let me know how badly my poor aunt had been let down by the ambulance service and how distressed she was by this. I can only praise this gallant 'whistle blower' and I will make sure that something is done about the appalling situation that my aunt endured at the hospital.
What could be improved
I am complaining on behalf of my elderly aunt(in her 90s) who was left waiting in outpatients reception for several hours for transport to take her home. She cannot walk, she lives alone and had come to the hospital for treatment. At 5pm transport was called to collect her to take her home. One ambulance came but refused to take her, as she was in a wheelchair. A second one came , some considerable time later, this one too refused to transport her. By this time she was in great distress. I was called by a member of security around 8pm to tell me what was happening. I managed to speak briefly to my aunt but she was too upset to talk. This security person then passed the phone to a Manager of Patient Services who said they had given my aunt a cup of tea and some biscuits. They told me that there were many complaints about the patient transport service and this was not an unusual occurrence. He had to go because he had to man the outpatients desk. The security person went off duty and I still do not know what has happened to my aunt. I am horrified and saddened that this kind of treatment can be allowed by senior management. The lack of dignity and inhumane treatment of an elderly woman should not go unpunished. I strongly feel that unless and until staff are held to account then nothing will change in the NHS culture. This treatment amounts to cruelty and abuse. For all I know my aunt is still trapped in her wheelchair in reception. It is now almost 9pm. Please help her somebody for goodness sake!!
Why is this particular transport company still being paid for a service which is so blatantly abusing the elderly and letting down the hospital.? Who is the person responsible for giving this contract? Are they monitoring the situation? Do they take action when this kind of blatant abuse occurs or do they simply write a report and then file it? The key words here are responsibility and action