Hospital sent pensioner home at 2am

IPSWICH Hospital has today come under fire for sending home an 84-year-old heart patient in a cab at 2am wearing just his pyjamas and dressing gown.Raymond Rowe was “confused and bewildered” when he was woken and sent home and his story has today sparked an apology from hospital staff.

IPSWICH Hospital has today come under fire for sending home an 84-year-old heart patient in a cab at 2am wearing just his pyjamas and dressing gown.

Raymond Rowe was “confused and bewildered” when he was woken and sent home and his story has today sparked an apology from hospital staff.

Today, his son Trevor Rowe, of Bramford, said: “I can't believe they woke an 84-year-old at 1.45am to tell them to go home.

“Perhaps a 20 or 30-year-old could cope with it, but not a confused and bewildered elderly man.


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“He didn't put up any kind of resistance as he wouldn't have wanted to cause a fuss.”

Mr Rowe, of Robin Drive, was taken into the Heath Road hospital by paramedics on Monday with chest pains and breathlessness.

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His son visited him in the afternoon and evening and was told by doctors his father would probably be ready to go home the following day .

But his stunned wife Joan, also 84, got a call from him at 2am, saying he was on his way home.

Because he had been taken into hospital in his bed clothes, he was wearing pyjamas, a dressing gown and slippers when he was put into the cab to go home.

It is believed Mr Rowe, who had a stroke and heart bypass around eight years ago, was sent home from the Brantham assessment and observation ward earlier than planned because blood test results had come back to doctors sooner than expected.

Trevor Rowe, 54, who is writing a letter of complaint, said: “The nurses and doctors were fine but the way the administration was dealt with seems so wrong.

“I know they have an on-going problem with bed shortages but why they did this is beyond me.

“In all the times both my parents have had to use the NHS, this is the first time something like this has happened but it's an awful thing to have happened.

“My father said there was a woman patient also sent home in the cab, who was dropped off in Highfield Road.”

Jan Rowsell, hospital spokeswoman, said: “We are very sorry we have disappointed the family and their expectations of us.

“We would ask them to contact us so we can carefully look at their concerns and carry out an immediate investigation.

“As with every other hospital in the country, we are very busy this week, it's that time of year and we had three wards closed to new patients because of a winter vomiting bug. However, that doesn't mean people should get any less quality of care.”

n Do you have a relative or friend who has been discharged from hospital in the early hours? Were you the other patient in the cab? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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