Ipswich: Furious husband to put concerns to hospital boss

IPSWICH: A furious husband whose critically ill wife was packed into a taxi at Ipswich Hospital and transferred to London is looking forward to putting his grievances to the top boss today.

Yesterday The Evening Star revealed that Wendy Weeding was put in a taxi and driven to St Mark’s Hospital in Harrow - 93 miles away - with no medical supervision despite having an open wound on her abdomen and taking painkillers to dull the agony of her rare stomach ailment.

The 47-year-old was refused an ambulance because the �500 cost this would incur was deemed too high, her husband Andy said.

Today he was due to meet Ipswich Hospital chief executive Andrew Reed, who made a public apology after the incident.

The 55-year-old said he appreciated Mr Reed’s invitation.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, he said: “I don’t know what I’m going to say yet but it does make me feel better that I have been invited in for this meeting. At the end of the day, it is Andrew Reed’s fault as far as I’m concerned.”

It is not the first time something similar has happened at the Heath Road hospital.

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In February 2007 the Star reported how heart patient Raymond Rowe, 84, from Bramford, was discharged at 2am after planned blood tests came back earlier than expected. He was woken up at 1.45am and sent home in a cab wearing just his robe, pyjamas and slippers.

His family were furious at his treatment and said he was “confused and bewildered” when he was woken by staff and discharged.

At the time, Ipswich Hospital made an unreserved apology for the incident.

In Mrs Weeding’s case she was transported to London wearing just a hospital gown. Her open, weeping stomach wound was covered by a simple dressing and was sodden by the time she arrived at St Mark’s Hospital three hours and twenty minutes later.

Mr Weeding branded his wife’s treatment “an absolute disgrace” and was “furious” when he learned of her horrific taxi journey.

Speaking of his wife’s condition, he said they had been warned by doctors her bowel may never work again.

He said: “I am hopeful the doctors at St Mark’s will be able to help. They are the best and I am pleased with the care she is receiving there.”

Andrew Reed, chief executive of the Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust, said an immediate investigation had begun into the situation following our report.

n Have you suffered a similar experience? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.