Embarrassed hospital chiefs were today forced to admit that “nothing went tragically wrong” with the care of an elderly Birmingham woman. Her family were said to be “shocked” and are considering legal action.
Edith Bennett, 85, was taken to A&E after falling and breaking her wrist whilst visiting her son. Not wishing to burden the ambulance service, the family took her to A&E themselves. “I wish we hadn’t” said her daughter-in-law Jenny “that way we would never have suffered the trauma that we did”
On arrival, the family parked quickly and spoke to a pleasant receptionist who took all Edith’s details and was easily able to locate her full records. “That’s when we should have known something was wrong” said her son, Brian. The A&E display in the waiting room advertised a wait of 10 minutes, but she was “seen within 5” said a still-distressed Brian. “It was a shock,” said Jenny “we knew we had a good 4 hours to do some shopping. We also planned to visit a funeral home for advice as we knew we were likely to needing them” The family missed several bargains as Edith was taken straight in.
Once in the treatment room, things got worse. Even though she was in pain, Edith was fully aware of how bad things were. “I was treated by a relaxed, qualified nurse who spent lots of time with me. She called over a doctor who sent me straight for an x-ray. It all happened so quickly, I still can’t believe it.”
Within an hour, Edith was sat drinking tea with her arm in plaster. The bewildered family were left to take Edith home, with only the support of a nurse, porter and a scheduled visit from a community nurse.
Hospital chiefs were at a loss as to what happened. “We’ve tried reducing their budgets, but regretfully sometimes patients are ok. It’s almost as if the staff care” said Chief executive James Grass. “I have spoken to the family and apologised, but this is a very unusual situation. I have a stack of ‘Sorry your mum/dad died’ pre-written letters, but nothing prepared us for this”
The family have appointed a solicitor to seek compensation for “mental anguish and loss of inheritance due to the fact that mum didn’t die”.
Since the incident, the Trust has sacked 30% of their nursing and medical staff in A&E. They have also appointed external consultants to “redesign to A&E service to ensure this never happens again”