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OAP claims hospital lost her clothes

PUBLISHED: 13:48 16 February 2002 | UPDATED: 11:22 03 March 2010

A FELIXSTOWE pensioner had her slippers, dressing gown and other belongings lost by a hospital before she was discharged from a ward, her daughter has claimed.

A FELIXSTOWE pensioner had her slippers, dressing gown and other belongings lost by a hospital before she was discharged from a ward, her daughter has claimed.

Gwen Burnham, 79, was admitted to the accident and emergency department at Ipswich Hospital after she collapsed at home on January 13.

Her daughter, Trish Simmons, of Langer Road, Felixstowe, alleged a bag of personal belongings was lost when she was moved from a medical assessment ward.

She said: "We left the bag on the table beside the bed and I took her glasses and purse out for safe keeping. I went back the next morning and she was sitting there with nothing on her feet so I asked a member of staff what had happened to her slippers and she did not know."

Mrs Simmons, who works as a psychiatric nurse in the private sector, spoke out after the hospital admitted throwing out an elderly man's personal possessions after he died last December.

An Ipswich Hospital spokeswoman said: "We are concerned to learn of Mrs Simmons' comments and would very much like her to get in touch with us so that we can investigate every aspect of her concerns in detail.

"What we have done is checked to see if any lost property was reported by Mrs Simmons both in accident and emergency and on the medical assessment unit and we have no records of any property being reported missing."

Mrs Simmons also claimed the way her mother was moved from the hospital's Claydon Ward to the Sidegate Nursing Home upset her more than the loss of her belongings.

She said: "They had lost her slippers, dressing gown and other stuff in the bag and they moved her to the nursing home in just her pyjamas even though she had pneumonia."

But any allegation of neglect experienced by patients while being transferred between wards was refuted by the hospital.

A spokeswoman said: "We would never ever discharge a patient in inappropriate clothing. However some patients who are being discharged from hospital to a nursing home often request that they leave in their night clothes because they will be going straight back into bed, but they are always securely wrapped up in a warm blanket."

Ipswich Hospital takes all complaints very seriously, the spokeswoman added, and has a Patient Advisory Liaison Service (PALS) for anyone to contact with their concerns.

She said: "We encourage people to know about the PALS and to use it, but we do need people to tell us their issues so that we can look into them. We have had no contact from Mrs Simmons or her family to date."

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