NHS Hospital left elderly 81 year old collapsed in the gutter in the rain for 30 mins


Saturday September 29,2012
By Tony Brooks

A GRANDMOTHER collapsed outside a hospital and was left to lie in the gutter in pouring rain for 30 minutes until an ambulance arrived.

When paramedics finally turned up to pick up badly bruised 81-year-old Gladys Shepherd they drove her little more than 300 yards for treatment in the urgent care unit of the same hospital.

Yesterday health bosses ordered an investigation.

Gladys suffered a cut face and bruises to her legs, shoulder and arms when she tumbled in the grounds of Burnley General Hospital. She was waiting for granddaughter Louise Woods to fetch her car following a routine appointment.

But receptionists said there were no doctors to assess the grandmother-of-eight and she had to lie where she fell until an ambulance arrived from Altham, seven miles away.

A furious Louise, 26, who is heavily pregnant, said last night: “It was appalling – my gran was literally left lying in the gutter in pouring rain.

It was appalling – my gran was literally left lying in the gutter in pouring rain

“You would think a hospital would be the best place to have an accident, but obviously that’s not the case.” Gladys slipped as she waited for Louise to bring her car to the entrance of Maple House, part of the hospital complex after an appointment at the Memory Assessment Service.

Louise explained: “I heard gran crying for help and ran back to the entrance but was unable to get her back on her feet so ran inside the hospital for help. Three receptionists came out with umbrellas but said there were no doctors available to check her over before moving her so I would have to ring an ambulance.

“We tried holding umbrellas over her and I took off my coat to cover her but she was still in a puddle.

“I told them I would push her myself round to the urgent care centre in a wheelchair if someone would help me get her up but nothing happened. Surely you would have thought they would have spared a doctor for two minutes.”

The family has now lodged a complaint with the hospital saying they were disgusted at the indignity Gladys suffered.

Louise from Clitheroe, Lancs, added: “The paramedic literally drove us the 300 yards to the hospital entrance which I could easily have walked.

“The way she was treated is disgusting. She was still in her wet clothes when she got home five hours later at 7.30pm and has been really shaken up by the whole incident.

“She is now very wary about leaving the house.”

A spokesman for Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust said: “The staff within our Memory Assessment Service quickly reacted to this incident, providing blankets, gauze and umbrellas.

“But if there is a possibility of a head injury or risk of fracture, it is not advisable for them to be moved until they have been assessed by an appropriate medical professional.

“Our nursing staff stayed with the lady and her granddaughter until the ambulance arrived.”

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