Hospital medical staff unable to help collapsed woman

The Johnson Community Hospital, Spalding
The Johnson Community Hospital, Spalding
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answers are being demanded over why medical staff at Spalding’s hospital refused to treat a woman who collapsed while waiting 45 minutes for an ambulance.

answers are being demanded over why medical staff at Spalding’s hospital refused to treat a woman who collapsed while waiting 45 minutes for an ambulance.

Cynthia Chadwick (53) was taken ill with severe abdominal pains during an evening out. Husband Paul drove her to the Johnson Community Hospital because she felt too ill for the journey to Pilgrim Hospital in Boston.

The hospital’s minor injury unit was closed and because Mrs Chadwick was obviously in a lot of pain the hospital receptionist called 999 as well as asking hospital ward staff for assistance. But they refused to attend to Mrs Chadwick as they do not provide an emergency service.

After 15 minutes Mrs Chadwick’s condition deteriorated further and a second 999 call was made at about 8.10pm.

She collapsed on the floor shortly afterwards. The receptionist again called the ward for help and made a third call for an ambulance at 8.20pm. It finally arrived at 8.40pm – 45 minutes after the initial call.

Mr Chadwick (61), of Saxon Close, Spalding, said: “I am extremely angry about what happened and want answers so this doesn’t happen to anyone else.

“When the ambulance crew arrived they seemed a bit perturbed and I got the impression that the 999 calls were deemed a lower priority because it was assumed my wife was receiving medical assistance at the hospital.

“That terrifying 45-minute wait could have been fatal in another case because of the lack of care available at the hospital and the poor ambulance response time.”

Mrs Chadwick spent four days in Pilgrim Hospital being treated for a severe kidney infection. She will return at a later date for further tests.

Mr Chadwick said the ordeal has left him feeling that the Johnson Community Hospital is a “white elephant” and questioning whether it should be called a hospital at all.

He added: “A lot of money has gone into it, but not a lot of care comes out of it. If it is a hospital it needs to be functional for the community and the first duty of a hospital is to provide care and support in an emergency situation.”

The couple have complained to East Midlands Ambulance Service and Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, and have written to South Holland and the Deepings MP John Hayes.

• LINCOLNSHIRE Community Health Services NHS Trust has apologised to Mr and Mrs Chadwick for their experience.

Spokesman Simon Temple said: “We are in touch with the patient and will be listening to their concerns.

“Nursing staff on the wards cannot abandon their posts leaving inpatients unattended and at risk.

“However, other hospital staff made the appropriate emergency arrangements and kept the patient as comfortable as possible in the meantime.

“We remain committed to working with the local community to continue to improve the services we offer.”

And East Midlands Ambulance Service has launched an official investigation into the incident.

Spokesman Phil Morris said: “We have received a formal complaint from Mr Chadwick and we will carry out a full investigation and we will contact him with full details of our findings as and when they become available.”