• Tue. May 21st, 2024

Oxfordshire woman ‘traumatised’ by A&E visit


Sep 30, 2022

A woman says she was “traumatised” by a visit to John Radcliffe’s A&E department in which she was left without vital pain medication and was forced to wet herself in a busy corridor.

The woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, was taken to hospital after falling out of bed onto her neck at 7.30am on September 1.

The Abingdon native suffers with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), a condition where a person experiences persistent severe and debilitating pain.

READ MORE: Oxfordshire mum running charity marathon in memory of son

She says she fell out of bed after her body 'passed out' due to the intense pain.

Initially she was taken from her to the Minor Injuries Unit at Abingdon Community Hospital, where she arrived around 10.15am.

From there her head was placed in a head brace and she was transferred by ambulance to the John Radcliffe in Oxford.

Stock image of a patient being lifted into an ambulance

It was here that issues with the patient’s care began.

The woman explained she left Abingdon at 12.15pm but did not actually get into A&E at the John Radcliffe until 1.50pm because the department was so overwhelmed, forcing her to wait in a bed queue in a corridor.

By 4.20pm she said she had not been given any pain relief by the hospital nor any of her own medication, which she takes to cope with her CRPS, and was desperate to use the toilet.

As she lay in the corridor in tears, with just a thin partition providing privacy from the steams of staff and patients, she asked a nurse to help her go to the toilet and for pain relief.

The staff member allegedly said: “Well, it will take two of us to give you some morphine and five of us to take you to the toilet. We ain’t got that, so what are you crying for?”

This response left the Abingdon native “in bits”.

Once her carer was on the scene, two further nurses were approached for incontinence pads but none appeared.

Eventually the carer got them herself and placed them under the woman so she could relief herself.

Doing so in a lying down position resulted in the urine spreading up the woman’s back and left her feeling cold and “completely wet through”.

Both the woman and her carer asked staff if she could be changed but that took another hour and half to happen.

File image of the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford

She told this newspaper: “I was traumatised. I felt neglected and I was just thinking ‘what if I was an elderly person who couldn’t speak up?'

“At least I had my PA there who could go and get some incontinence sheets for me.

“They didn’t have two staff to spare and they failed to take into account my disability and the amount of medication I am on.

“You just feel like you are nobody, it is really upsetting.”

Despite her experience, she praised the staff as people but has taken issue with the infrastructure within the NHS, which she believes resulted in the lack of staff and individual patient care.

“They are overworked, they are unstaffed and most of them – except that one nurse – were lovely. From the ambulance staff all the way through to the doctors they were all wonderful.

“They are so overstretched and more needs to be done.”

A spokesperson for Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “We are very sorry to hear about this patient’s issues with the care received at our hospital.

“While we are unable to comment on individual cases, we take complaints very seriously and would encourage anyone who is dissatisfied with the care they receive in our hospitals to let us know by getting in contact with our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) or Complaints teams.

“Complaints are fully investigated and, as a Trust, we are committed to learning from all feedback we receive, positive and negative.”

Read more from this author

This story was written by Sophie Perry. She joined the team in 2021 as a digital reporter.

You can get in touch with her by emailing: sophie.perry@newsquest.co.uk

Follow her on Twitter @itssophieperry

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