Poorly patient waits 54 hours to be seen

Andrew and Sally Jerome
Andrew and Sally Jerome

A woman who suffers a chronic gastric condition was sent on a wild goose chase to an Oxford hospital, losing her 54 hours’ treatment time.

Sally Jerome, of Byfield,is a frequent patient at Banbury’s Horton General Hospital where consultants know what treatment she needs.

But in January, Oxford University Hospitals Trust (OUH)removed two specialists and ordered that emergency abdominal surgery go to the John Radcliffe.

Since then the Keep the Horton General Campaign (KTHG) and the Banbury Guardian have received numerous complaints of transfer nightmares from patients.

Mrs Jerome’s condition is treated by medication, not surgery. But duty doctors at A&E transferred her to Oxford.

“There was no reason I should have been transferred,” she said. “Maybe they were under pressure to transfer people or maybe there were no doctors with sufficient experience to deal with me.”

Mrs Jerome spent a total of 54 hours travelling to Oxford and waiting to be assessed before being returned to Banbury, where she was seen by her normal team. During that time confusion over tests meant a bladder infection was overlooked.

“I went for nothing. I arrived at the Horton at 9am on the Sunday and didn’t get back to the Horton until 10pm on Tuesday. Two and a half days trying to be seen and not even being given my medication. No one wanted ownership of me. Something’s going wrong,” she said.

Charlotte Bird of KTHG said: “The stream of messages received by KTHG suggests patients are experiencing real trauma because of removal of emergency surgery.

“Making patients travel to Oxford is not in their best interests.”

OUH medical director, Professor Edward Baker, said: “We are sorry to hear that Ms Jerome’s experience at our hospitals fell below our usual high standards.

“We are always disappointed to hear when a patient’s experience of our services falls below expectation and we look into all such issues thoroughly.”