A MUM-OF-THREE claims she was left in agony to walk almost four miles home in her dressing gown after being discharged from hospital at 3am.
Nicky Moore was taken to the Royal Bournemouth Hospital by ambulance on September 25 after suffering severe stomach and back pains for several hours at her home on Christchurch’s Somerford estate.
Blood tests and an abdominal examination were carried out before Nicky, 42, was diagnosed with gastroenteritis and sent home early the next morning with painkillers.
A scan later showed she had three large gallstones and needed surgery.
She said: “I was in agony when I left hospital. I told the doctor, a nurse and the hospital receptionist that I had no transport and no money to pay for a taxi.
“It was the middle of the night; my husband Roger was at home with our three children and, even if I could have contacted him, we don’t have a car so he couldn’t have picked me up. A nurse tried to arrange for a hospital car but there were none available.
“No one suggested I could wait in the hospital until transport was available or offered me the use of a phone; it was busy and I got the impression they just wanted me to go.”
Nicky, who suffers from diabetes and depression, added: “I was in shock as I set off and kept having to stop to take shelter from the rain and because I was in pain.
“Several police cars passed me but, even though I was in my dressing gown, no one pulled up to help.
By the time I reached Christ-church the street lights had been switched off and our estate was in darkness.
“I could have been attacked or collapsed and died from exposure. My husband thought I was being kept in hospital overnight so he was asleep when I finally got home, two hours after being discharged.”
Despite taking painkillers Nicky’s condition deteriorated and she was readmitted to the same hospital the next day. A scan showed she had three large gallstones.
Nicky remained in hospital until Monday, October 1, and is now on the emergency waiting list to have her gallbladder removed.
She said: “I’m really angry and believe the hospital should apologise; apart from receiving the wrong diagnosis I feel I was treated very badly.”
A Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust spokeswoman said: “We have received an official complaint from Mrs Moore which we are investigating.”
She added: “The emergency department continuously meets its obligations to see and treat patients in a timely way, individual to their personal needs.
“Patients are treated based on their presenting symptoms and may be discharged back to their GP’s care.
“In the emergency department, this can be out-of-hours and patients are given the option to wait within the department.
“Patients also have 24-hour access to phones to make their own transport arrangements.
“While the Trust has limited, non-emergency transport resources, patients must meet medical or social criteria to be eligible for these.
“Where a patient is not eligible they are required to arrange their own transport.”