Alzheimer's patient, 86, sent home from Hull Royal in taxi wearing just a gown
AN elderly woman with Alzheimer's disease was sent home from hospital on her own in a taxi.
Rose Gibson, 86, spent three nights in Hull Royal Infirmary following an infection, which left her disorientated and lethargic.
Hospital staff told her family she would be taken to the residential home where she lives in an ambulance.
But nine hours later, confused and cold, she arrived in a taxi wrapped in two hospital gowns.
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Her daughter, Margaret Gawthorpe, said she had two pairs of clean pyjamas and underwear in the bag next to her and she was discharged without a blanket.
Margaret, 58, said: "I opened the taxi door and she had two hospital gowns on.
"She was freezing, she didn't know where she was and she was frightened.
"I felt heartbroken and absolutely devastated."
Margaret said her husband, George, 65, received a call from hospital staff at about 10.30am to say Rose would be taken back to Woodford Care Home in Holderness Road, east Hull, where she lives, in an ambulance on September 19.
Rose did not arrive until about 7.30pm and Margaret said she did not collect her mother from the hospital as she was assured the journey was organised.
"Usually, we go for her but they said they were bringing her home in an ambulance," she said.
"There's no way she should have been sent home without a nurse, or somebody. They should have rang us and told us they couldn't get an ambulance."
Margaret, of east Hull, said she has received a verbal apology from hospital staff, which she said she initially accepted.
But after reading in the Mail how a 96-year-old woman was discharged from Hull Royal Infirmary at 4am, she said she felt she had to speak out.
"I don't want this to happen to anyone else," said Margaret.
"When I read that story, it brought everything back to me and I'm not going to let it go.
"Something needs to be done. We are a very close, loving family and we will do anything for my mum."
Another patient, Sally Martin, has recently made an official complaint to Hull And East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust about the time she was transferred to a ward and the treatment she received.
She was admitted to hospital with chest pains, an irregular heartbeat and gynaecology problems on October 9.
After almost three days in Hull Royal Infirmary's acute assessment unit, she said she was transferred to ward 22 at Castle Hill Hospital in Cottingham at 4.30am. She said she was treated on a respiratory ward, rather than gynaecology.
Sally, 48, who also spoke out after reading the 96-year-old woman's story in the Mail, said: "I had to pack at that time in the morning, which is very disruptive to other acutely ill patients. They asked for my permission to be moved and I was told transport would be four hours, which would have made it 8am. But I was moved at 4.30am. I read the article in the Mail the night before and moving patients at that time is unacceptable."
Phil Morley, chief executive at the trust, which runs the hospitals, said: "I would like to apologise to both patients for any distress we may have caused.
"I understand Miss Martin has contacted our complaints team and we will be responding to her directly very soon.
"However, in line with trusts nationally, it is our policy to transfer patients from A&E, the acute assessment unit, critical care and some other specialist areas, such as the labour and delivery suite, at any time of the day or night.
"If Mrs Gibson's daughter would like to contact us again, we will be more than happy to respond to her directly."