Patients in severe pain with abdominal emergencies are being subjected to an ordeal of difficult travel and hours of waiting because of the latest service withdrawal from the Horton General Hospital.
Accounts of sick and anxious men and women being told to make their own way to the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford include;
l A Banbury man who made a tortuous trip by rail and bus and on foot to Headington on a Sunday afternoon and had still not been seen by 11.45pm.
l A woman left for 17 hours on a trolley in A&E at the JR.
l A man ‘doubled up in pain’ left for hours in a surgical assessment waiting room.
l A son who had to make three round trips from Banbury to Oxford in 12 hours because of the wait for his elderly father’s x-ray.
The change was implemented in January when Oxford University Hospitals Trust bosses said safety concerns had forced them to remove emergency abdominal surgery from Banbury. They said it would only affect five operations a week. However, the Banbury Guardian has been contacted by a number of people who have been transferred for investigations.
Tony King, 68, of Riley Drive, Banbury was referred to the JR with a non-abdominal complaint but reported watching two thirds of those at the Horton A&E joining him .
“One chap had abdominal pains so bad he could not stand, yet he was kept waiting with the others and was expected to get himself to the JR, and up to the sixth floor in this condition and then wait.
“Another young man left the Horton the same time as us and had got a train and bus to Headington. When we left the JR at 11.45pm he still hadn’t been seen and by that time public transport had all but stopped. We still don’t know how he got home, poor man.”
A Banbury woman described how her father-in-law, with a suspected bowel obstruction, was driven in by his son in a 90-minute, rush-hour journey. By 11pm, still waiting for an x-ray, his son was sent home and woken at 1.30am and asked to collect his father but to return him by 6.30am – 150 miles in 12 hours.
She said the expense would be too much for anyone on benefits. Another correspondent spoke of being left for 17 hours on a trolley at the JR’s A&E before admission and a six-day stay.