A Banbury woman has complained of being told to make her own way home from the JR, Oxford in her dressing gown and slippers at 11pm.
Carolyn Hancock was charged £60 for a taxi back to her Banbury home after being ambulanced to the JR, Oxford from the Horton’s A&E.
“I collapsed in the bedroom on New Year’s Day evening and when I woke up paramedics were there. They took me to the Horton where A&E was jam packed and I was transferred to the JR,” said Mrs Hancock.
“My husband is unwell and couldn’t come with me so I went alone in the ambulance. They scanned me and said they thought I’d had a mini-stroke. They prescribed aspirin and said I could leave.
“I asked how I would get home and they said I’d have to make my own way. I was in my dressing gown and slippers.
“They called a taxi for me and I eventually got home to Caernarvon Way at 11.30pm with a charge of £60 which I couldn’t afford.
“I work in the local supermarket and I’m the wage earner of the family as my husband cannot work due to health problems.”
Catherine Stoddart, chief nurse at OUHT, said: “I am sorry to hear that Mrs Hancock is unhappy with the transport arrangements for getting her home. I understand that staff did discuss transport with Mrs Hancock to see what could be arranged. Unfortunately, Mrs Hancock did not qualify for the hospital-funded transport service. Normally we would encourage people to contact a family member or a friend in these circumstances.”
Others have told the Banbury Guardian of difficulties getting home from A&E at the JR. One woman said her partner had been discharged at 2.30am after being transferred to the JR after he choked.
“This happened about three months ago. He was taken to the JR and discharged about 2.30am,” said Chelle Bebbington. “I’m disabled and at the time I was very poorly. He had no way of getting home, and after trying all our family and friends he was unable to get a lift. I had to drive to Oxford to get him in the early hours as we just didn’t have the funds to pay for transport home.”
Kellie Harper was transferred from the Horton for an emergency MRI scan and discharged at 11pm under morphine for a back injury.
“They said I had to make my own way back to Banbury, No money, in my pyjamas, very upsetting. But still glad I had the emergency care I did. Just a shame that the transition process isn’t there,” she said.
Some on social media said the NHS was there to treat patients but should not have to get them home.
Others felt patients transferred should be returned to their original hospital if they had no other means of getting home.
Keith Strangwood of the Keep the Horton General Campaign said: “The suffering Banburyshire users are having to endure is unacceptable. It’s all about cuts to services and the governments STP plans to centralise services. We need to put a stop to it right now.”
A source close to the department told the Banbury Guardian: “A lot of staff are leaving the Horton’s A&E and morale is extremely low.
“No one knows what is happening with the threat to the hospital and possible downgrading.”