"Elderly father fell hit his head and split open his ear"

About: General Practices in Grampian

(as a relative),

My elderly father fell, bumped his head and split open his ear.  He went to the unscheduled Care unit at a nearby Health Centre and was told he should go to a different healthcare provider/hospital 12 miles away.  He is 92, fell on steps and bumped his head as he was carrying items in both hands yet he was allowed to leave the centre and drive himself all this way, holding a dish cloth over his ear because of the bleeding!  He required 17 stitches!!

I struggle to understand who would have seen a 92 year old who has hit his head off a wall and allowed him to leave and drive himself.  I am pretty disgusted that he was allowed to leave even though I understand he may have said he would take himself.  He is very independent but he is 92 and had just bumped his head- do you consider this safe practice to allow him to leave on his own?  I’m really glad nothing happened to him on the way.


Response from Kirsten Dickson, Clinical Quality Facilitator, Person Centred, Quality Governance & Risk, NHS Grampian

picture of Kirsten Dickson

Dear Concerned family member,

Thank you for getting in touch.

I'm really sorry to hear about your fathers experience at the health centre. I can see from your story why you feel disgusted. I too am puzzled as to why the staff would have asked your father to drive to a hospital 12 miles away with a head injury.

I would like to be able to share this story with the health centre for reflection. Although we can't change your fathers experience we can try to make sure it doesn't happen to anyone else. Would you be happy to share the name of the health centre with me? (I won't share any personal details out with our conversation). I can be contacted by email (kirsten.dickson@nhs.net) or by telephone (01224 558404).

Best wishes,


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Update posted by Concerned family member (a relative)

Thank you for your reply. This is indeed why I made the comment, my father doesn’t wish to complain but I was very concerned that with a bump to the head and a bleeding ear he should not have been allowed to leave and drive himself. I will try to phone you tomorrow. Thank you.