A Boston woman says her husband had to be rushed back into hospital after being released far too early from Pilgrim Hospital with a serious leg infection.
Former police officer Rod Moncrieff was rushed to the intensive care unit at Colchester Hospital after he suddenly became ill with sepsis while on holiday with his family.
His wife Sharon says following his transfer to Pilgrim a couple of weeks ago, the couple have endured an ‘appalling’ level of care and communication.
And she says dad-of-five Rod had to be rushed back into hospital less than two days after he was released from the ward – even though the family had been told he was likely to be in hospital for up to five weeks just a few days earlier.
Mrs Moncrieff says the treatment her husband has received and the communication she has had from staff at the Pilgrim has left her deeply concerned.
She says had they known what awaited them in Pilgrim, they would have kept him in Colchester, regardless of the 100 mile plus distance it is from their Boston home.
“Every day I had to sort his bed out and he went days without water, so I took him bottles in. This is such a sad situation to be in, or go through, and I feel for the more elderly people in there who haven’t got anyone to go in to see them. This really needs addressing, it is appalling,” she said.
The Trust has said it is sorry to hear about the concerns raised, and it is dealing with the family directly.
It has not responded to the Boston Standard on any of the issues raised by Mrs Moncrieff.
Mrs Moncrieff said the problems started almost as soon as they got to Pilgrim, when they arrived by ambulance at the ward, and were told there was no paperwork.
Once 6ft 5in Mr Moncrieff was finally placed in a bed, it was too small for him, and they had to ask for a bigger one. Mrs Moncrieff said there was then an issue about the location of his bed, as it was close to the communal sink and very crowded.
“His physio and day staff on the ward agreed he needed to be near a window due to the cramped condition around his bed with the communal sink beside him, but when the staff changed over they did not seem to have any knowledge of this,” she said.
“This went on for a few days with me requesting the move. I again asked he be transferred on Tuesday, September 26, but later the same day we were told he was being discharged, even though the previous Thursday we had been told he could expect to be in for at least five weeks.”
She says she was then left on her own to get him home, and the following day she discovered the district nurse referral that should have been in place to arrange for his dressings to be changed hadn’t been sorted out, and she had to make a number of calls about that.
When the nurse came the day after, her husband passed out as she changed his dressing, and the nurse said they should call his GP. Once the doctor arrived, he decided they needed to call 999 straight away and get him back into hospital.
He was taken by ambulance to Pilgrim and had to wait three hours to be seen by A&E, says Mrs Moncrieff.
“When he was taken to another ward he has been told the infection he had when was critical had not actually gone and was still there, so further treatment is now required,” she said.
“If only they had taken the time for him in the previous ward he would not be in this agony now; it is a disgrace and it must not continue. My husband was very distressed when he had to go back on a 999 call.”
Mrs Moncrieff says she believes the release of her husband was premature and has set back his recovery.
“If he had stayed where he was, he would have progressed by now, but because he was released, he’s gone backwards.
“There’s been no real thought to aftercare when he was released either. There was no consultation. It’s a very poor state of affairs. I know they need the beds and I know the pressure they are under, but they should be doing better.
“It shouldn’t be a conveyer belt for patients, which is what this was like.”
The United Lincolnshire Health Trust, which is responsible for Pilgrim Hospital, has sent the Standard a short response.
Michelle Rhodes, director of nursing, said: “We are sorry to hear the concerns Mr Moncrief’s family have about his care, as providing safe, quality care to our patients is our top priority and we would not wish to fall below that standard.
“We are handling this complaint directly with the family.”