"My mother fell IN HOSPITAL, and they called an ambulance from another hospital to help her!"

About: Chase Farm Hospital / Accident and emergency

(as a relative),

I took my 83 year old mother to Chase Farm hospital for an appointment on a week ago. Whilst there, she fell down a steep step out side near the blood clinic, I ran into the clinic for help and two nurses came to assist, also by then several other nurses and people came to her aid.

My mother had a large cut above her eye, the nurses thought it would be best to call an ambulance as they didn't want to move her. By this time, it had started to rain and was very cold - the nurses had got some blankets, as you can appreciate my mother was very distressed. We waited and waited for the ambulance, it was almost an hour before my mother was taken into A&E. The A&E department is only about a hundred yards from where my mother fell!

Apparently the only available ambulance had to come from North Middlesex Hospital, Edmonton. Chase Farm hospital has an Ambulance station adjacent to the hospital. My mother was laying on the ground for 3/4 of an hour!

When we got to A&E there were empty ambulances outside the entrance. Fortunately my mother was seen straight away, but why couldn't somebody from A&E have come to help my mother?

The whole thing was an absolute nightmare, the nurses who helped us were very good and kind but there has to be a better proccedure in place to deal with such an event. The whole reason we were at the hospital was for tests which my mother had been fasting for four days. After A&E, a porter was called to take her to the surgical centre but they said they couldn't take her in a wheel chair and we'd have to call another ambulance!

We ended up pushing mum to the other clinic ourselves approx 100 yards in the rain again.

To me it seems that it is no wonder the NHS is closing hospitals, reducing ambulance staff and generally losing money - if you are going to send an ambulance from another hospital to move a patient 100 yards. I have no idea how much it would have cost to send the ambulance out, when you consider there was an empty ambulance and crew sitting outside the A&E dept less than 100 yards away. Simple common sense would save millions of pounds.

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Response from Chase Farm Hospital

As an organisation we are committed from learning from specific issues and from any mistakes we have made. Hearing about where we can do better helps us to pinpoint where exactly to make improvements to the service we provide. The Trust apologies for the poor experience that you had whilst visiting our services. The emergency ambulance service provided to the NHS in London is managed by the London Ambulance Service. If you have any concerns you can contact them directly. The transfer from the A&E department is usually provided by internal transport facilities as transfer in the grounds with the use of a wheelchair can be hazardous. Please contact the Trust on bcfpals@nhs.net if you wish to provide your details and get a more detailed response form the dept manager.

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