Princess Royal University Hospital slammed after elderly patient found freezing cold dressed in just gown in car park

Carroll Blackford with his mum Gladys

Carroll Blackford with his mum Gladys

First published in News
Last updated
This Is Local London: Photograph of the Author by , Chief reporter

HOSPITAL staff who left a distressed elderly patient freezing in the car park wearing just a gown and underwear have been slammed by the ombudsman.

Gladys Peggy Ali was taken to the Princess Royal University Hospital, Farnborough, after having a fall at her home in Oldfield Road, Bickley, and asked nurses to phone her son and let him know.

But her son Carroll Blackford says he did not get a call until the next morning, 11-and-a-half hours after she had been admitted.

And then only found out what had happened to her by going to the hospital.

When Mr Blackford arrived he saw his mother, who was 89 at the time, sitting in a wheelchair outside, waiting to be put into an ambulance and taken home.

She was dressed only in her underwear, a hospital gown and had a very thin blanket around her shoulders.

Her clothes were stuffed into a bag which had been placed on her lap.

Mr Blackford, of Mountview Road, Orpington, said: “She was shaken up and distressed and she thought I’d abandoned her and I said I had only just found out about what had happened.

“They took away her dignity.

“She was at the hospital without any family members knowing she was there.”

And 11 months after the incident on November 9, 2011, his mother was discharged again wearing just a hospital gown and her underwear.

The 65-year-old wants the hospital to make sure this will not happen to his mother or any other patient again.

He said: “They have given assurances but it is a hollow gesture, words are cheap and actions speak louder than words.”

And in his report Martin Pike, the interim director of health investigations at the health service ombudsman, said: “I have found service failure on the part of the Trust, with regard to the failure of nursing staff to contact Mrs Ali’s son in a timely way, and the failure of nursing staff to ensure that Mrs Ali was appropriately dressed on discharge.

“When her son was not contacted on her arrival in A&E, Mrs Ali told us it was very frightening. I have no doubt this was a distressing experience, and this was an injustice to her.

“Mrs Ali’s son told us when he found his mother sitting outside in the cold weather she was freezing and in a very distressed state. This was clearly an unpleasant and distressing experience for Mrs Ali, and an injustice to her.”

A spokeswoman for South London Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs the PRUH, said: “We would like to apologise to Mrs Ali for any distress she may have experienced in 2011.

“Since this complaint, we have reviewed our discharge policies to ensure that patients are appropriately dressed on leaving the hospital.”

Mr Blackford has been invited to a meeting with the chief executive and the heads of department about his complaints next Wednesday (April 10).

Comments (6)

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10:25am Tue 2 Apr 13

pamela8 says...

The staff need to be got rid of....new systems need to be used,,,,its obvious this tick the box rubbish does not work...people need to communicate with each other ,There should be a person held accountable for things like this,,,,This Country is slowly sinking on the Tory boat of despair....
The staff need to be got rid of....new systems need to be used,,,,its obvious this tick the box rubbish does not work...people need to communicate with each other ,There should be a person held accountable for things like this,,,,This Country is slowly sinking on the Tory boat of despair.... pamela8
  • Score: 0

1:24pm Tue 2 Apr 13

Polly Staight says...

The problem with the NHS is the patients...

...It would work flawlessly without them.

But seriously...

The problem with the monolithic NHS model is that it turns the ill-health care market into a command economy. The soviets proved with their 70 year experience that command economies fall at the first hurdle, nothing can put them right.

To enable a demand economy, which is desirable, the service providers need to be privatised. This does not mean that an American insurance company should come and run the hospitals, or that Crapita should be in charge of the Ambulance system.

Rather, that doctors and nurses should be encouraged to buy their own institutions, and run them for profit, or as charities or just as a local community service (as in mental health, where some patients are patients for life).

Anyway, this is the way that the ill-health systems work in many European states... They tend to cost people a little bit more, but the service providers would understand that efficiency is important... But above all, by picking and choosing one's provider freely, patients can demand proper care.

NB: The NHS costs about 9% of GDP... The French system costs nearer 12% of GDP...

...But French people who go to hospital remain with their dignity intact, and such things are worth far more than civil service statistics.

Granted that here, we get a cheap system that provides a sort of service for most people, does not mitigate for the endless incidents like the one here being reported by a prurient press.

Oh did I mention funding? We citizens ought to be able to decide how best to do this but regardless, a general bucket such as we have at the moment leaves far too much to chance for avaricious politicians to exploit. Instead, if we are to run a central fund, as the Germans do, it should be strictly derogated and kept as far away from politicians as possible.
The problem with the NHS is the patients... ...It would work flawlessly without them. But seriously... The problem with the monolithic NHS model is that it turns the ill-health care market into a command economy. The soviets proved with their 70 year experience that command economies fall at the first hurdle, nothing can put them right. To enable a demand economy, which is desirable, the service providers need to be privatised. This does not mean that an American insurance company should come and run the hospitals, or that Crapita should be in charge of the Ambulance system. Rather, that doctors and nurses should be encouraged to buy their own institutions, and run them for profit, or as charities or just as a local community service (as in mental health, where some patients are patients for life). Anyway, this is the way that the ill-health systems work in many European states... They tend to cost people a little bit more, but the service providers would understand that efficiency is important... But above all, by picking and choosing one's provider freely, patients can demand proper care. NB: The NHS costs about 9% of GDP... The French system costs nearer 12% of GDP... ...But French people who go to hospital remain with their dignity intact, and such things are worth far more than civil service statistics. Granted that here, we get a cheap system that provides a sort of service for most people, does not mitigate for the endless incidents like the one here being reported by a prurient press. Oh did I mention funding? We citizens ought to be able to decide how best to do this but regardless, a general bucket such as we have at the moment leaves far too much to chance for avaricious politicians to exploit. Instead, if we are to run a central fund, as the Germans do, it should be strictly derogated and kept as far away from politicians as possible. Polly Staight
  • Score: 0

10:43pm Tue 2 Apr 13

Biscuit says...

“Since this complaint, we have reviewed our discharge policies to ensure that patients are appropriately dressed on leaving the hospital.”

Has is really sunk to such a low point that they need a 'policy' to tell staff something as basic as ensuring patients are properly dressed to leave hospital???
“Since this complaint, we have reviewed our discharge policies to ensure that patients are appropriately dressed on leaving the hospital.” Has is really sunk to such a low point that they need a 'policy' to tell staff something as basic as ensuring patients are properly dressed to leave hospital??? Biscuit
  • Score: 0

6:52pm Wed 3 Apr 13

cherithporter says...

Doesn't make sense.
Doesn't make sense. cherithporter
  • Score: 0

3:26pm Sat 6 Apr 13

Eagles_Man says...

NHS - envy of the world dontchaknow.
NHS - envy of the world dontchaknow. Eagles_Man
  • Score: 0

2:36pm Mon 22 Apr 13

Threadworm says...

Biscuit wrote:
“Since this complaint, we have reviewed our discharge policies to ensure that patients are appropriately dressed on leaving the hospital.”

Has is really sunk to such a low point that they need a 'policy' to tell staff something as basic as ensuring patients are properly dressed to leave hospital???
She was one of the lucky ones, look round the elderly wards in that trust its like a concentration camp ... starved thirsty and in pain elderly that fought for this country and for what......
follow this link
https://www.change.o
rg/en-GB/petitions/s
outh-london-healthca
re-trust-independent
-external-enquiry-ur
gent
[quote][p][bold]Biscuit[/bold] wrote: “Since this complaint, we have reviewed our discharge policies to ensure that patients are appropriately dressed on leaving the hospital.” Has is really sunk to such a low point that they need a 'policy' to tell staff something as basic as ensuring patients are properly dressed to leave hospital???[/p][/quote]She was one of the lucky ones, look round the elderly wards in that trust its like a concentration camp ... starved thirsty and in pain elderly that fought for this country and for what...... follow this link https://www.change.o rg/en-GB/petitions/s outh-london-healthca re-trust-independent -external-enquiry-ur gent Threadworm
  • Score: 0

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