Borehamwood mother shoved in makeshift hospital bay in Barnet General Hospital

This Is Local London: Mrs Matthews with her husband Toby Mrs Matthews with her husband Toby

A mother who was kept in a makeshift hospital bay in plain view of the other patients claims doctors “ripped away" her privacy in the most undignified way.

Marina Matthews, of Farriers Way, Borehamwood, was rushed to Barnet General Hospital at 5.30am on Sunday morning with agonising stomach pain and vomiting.

When she arrived with her husband, Toby, doctors admitted her to Damson Ward, but said there were no bays available.

As a result, the 31-year-old hairdresser said she was “shoved” at the end of the ward in a cramped and narrow area.

The space was directly next to double doors, which provided her with a full view of the men’s ward, and just four metres away from the communal toilet.

She said: “I was feeling very dizzy because they gave me strong painkillers. I was petrified, but they promised they would keep me comfortable and scan me.

“I feel very let down by the hospital, it made me feel so uncomfortable. The whole thing is an absolute disgrace and even the doctor apologised to me.

“I couldn’t relax. If I sat up on the bed, all the patients in the male ward could see me. It also smelt horrific because I was right next to the toilet.”

Behind the bed were two rubbish bins, which Mrs Matthews said made her feel like she was “on top of germs” and aggravated her obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Staff gave her a screen to offer some privacy from the other six beds, though it only shielded her from less than half of the ward.

Eventually, doctors suggested she could have pancreatitis - but despite still feeling unwell, she chose to discharge herself at 11.30pm.

She added: “I’d had enough. I was already feeling unwell but knowing all eyes were on me were so much worse.

“I need to go back to hospital but I refuse to go back there. It’s disgusting. They ripped away my privacy in the most undignified way.

“It's a shambles.”

The Times Series is awaiting comment from Barnet General Hospital.

Comments (13)

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6:04pm Wed 26 Mar 14

debpayne says...

I really feel for you Marina as this is EXACTLY what happened to me on Damson Ward last year when I had suspected pancreatitis too. They called it the "sink bed" I was moved out of my bay to make room for someone coming in and put against that cold wall with a couple of small screens right next to the toilet... I had no call bell nor a light and when the nurses came in the night to check the cannula for my iv I had to use the light from my phone so they could see what they were doing. I had a very distressing time on that ward too including a nurse mocking me at handover because she thought I was asleep. It was a horrendous experience and I really feel for you.
I really feel for you Marina as this is EXACTLY what happened to me on Damson Ward last year when I had suspected pancreatitis too. They called it the "sink bed" I was moved out of my bay to make room for someone coming in and put against that cold wall with a couple of small screens right next to the toilet... I had no call bell nor a light and when the nurses came in the night to check the cannula for my iv I had to use the light from my phone so they could see what they were doing. I had a very distressing time on that ward too including a nurse mocking me at handover because she thought I was asleep. It was a horrendous experience and I really feel for you. debpayne
  • Score: 2

7:28pm Wed 26 Mar 14

kelvin says...

I wish you well Marina,I try to pick Watford General rather than Barnet,it seems far superior.
I wish you well Marina,I try to pick Watford General rather than Barnet,it seems far superior. kelvin
  • Score: 6

1:10am Thu 27 Mar 14

harvey_uk says...

Victoria ward (maternity is the same). Thank Labour for the international health service we run. Why can't the government prioritise UK passport holders.
Victoria ward (maternity is the same). Thank Labour for the international health service we run. Why can't the government prioritise UK passport holders. harvey_uk
  • Score: -1

6:47am Thu 27 Mar 14

JLS of wd6 says...

When all the new houses are built in Borehamwood it will only get worse. So though, will Watford when the 700 houses are built right on top of the hospital!
When all the new houses are built in Borehamwood it will only get worse. So though, will Watford when the 700 houses are built right on top of the hospital! JLS of wd6
  • Score: 8

7:06am Thu 27 Mar 14

TFEB says...

They want to expand the hospital in Watford but are being prevented from doing so by a bunch of allotment holders taking legal action.
They want to expand the hospital in Watford but are being prevented from doing so by a bunch of allotment holders taking legal action. TFEB
  • Score: 3

11:22am Thu 27 Mar 14

Tassafamily says...

I have a friend who's wife had to wait 5 hours on a bed during Monday night until she was given her essential medicine.

The real issue going on at Barnet is because they closed Chase Farm A&E and simply put, Barnet General cannot cope with the patient numbers coming through the door. 90 people were in A&E on Monday night I was told.

It's a real shame because the staff are fantastic and try their best and Barnet General was a splendid hospital (I was a cardiac patient in CCU) and could still be world class but closing hospitals and forcing more patients to seek medical support with less resources is just madness.
I have a friend who's wife had to wait 5 hours on a bed during Monday night until she was given her essential medicine. The real issue going on at Barnet is because they closed Chase Farm A&E and simply put, Barnet General cannot cope with the patient numbers coming through the door. 90 people were in A&E on Monday night I was told. It's a real shame because the staff are fantastic and try their best and Barnet General was a splendid hospital (I was a cardiac patient in CCU) and could still be world class but closing hospitals and forcing more patients to seek medical support with less resources is just madness. Tassafamily
  • Score: 9

11:30am Thu 27 Mar 14

david Burcombe says...

More homes being built and the hospital cannot cope INFRASTRUCTURE FIRST not last
More homes being built and the hospital cannot cope INFRASTRUCTURE FIRST not last david Burcombe
  • Score: 7

6:57pm Thu 27 Mar 14

Rog T says...

It is no mystery why A&E is overloaded. It is down to the Tory government shutting Chase Farm Hospital. End of
It is no mystery why A&E is overloaded. It is down to the Tory government shutting Chase Farm Hospital. End of Rog T
  • Score: 5

8:21am Sat 29 Mar 14

Mr. Datchery says...

harvey_uk wrote:
Victoria ward (maternity is the same). Thank Labour for the international health service we run. Why can't the government prioritise UK passport holders.
We should thank Labour that we have a health service at all, if you know anybody who remembers what it was like before 1948 ask them. We do indeed have an international health service but not in the way reactionaries like you mean if. At least 40% of NHS staff are foreign nationals and without them the system would rapidly collapse. This situation at Barnet has arisen purely for the reasons others have pointed out, Tories putting money before everything. Still as, despite recent developments Labour remain on course to win in 2015, current estimated majority 32.
[quote][p][bold]harvey_uk[/bold] wrote: Victoria ward (maternity is the same). Thank Labour for the international health service we run. Why can't the government prioritise UK passport holders.[/p][/quote]We should thank Labour that we have a health service at all, if you know anybody who remembers what it was like before 1948 ask them. We do indeed have an international health service but not in the way reactionaries like you mean if. At least 40% of NHS staff are foreign nationals and without them the system would rapidly collapse. This situation at Barnet has arisen purely for the reasons others have pointed out, Tories putting money before everything. Still as, despite recent developments Labour remain on course to win in 2015, current estimated majority 32. Mr. Datchery
  • Score: 4

7:10pm Sat 29 Mar 14

Mr E Dance says...

harvey_uk says..
'Victoria ward (maternity is the same). Thank Labour for the international health service we run'.
.......AND all that rain during the winter months, too! Bloody Socialists!
harvey_uk says.. 'Victoria ward (maternity is the same). Thank Labour for the international health service we run'. .......AND all that rain during the winter months, too! Bloody Socialists! Mr E Dance
  • Score: 2

8:47am Sun 30 Mar 14

Mr. Datchery says...

Mr E Dance wrote:
harvey_uk says..
'Victoria ward (maternity is the same). Thank Labour for the international health service we run'.
.......AND all that rain during the winter months, too! Bloody Socialists!
And they are beaming invisible rays into people's skulls which make them want to rush out and have a gay marriage!
[quote][p][bold]Mr E Dance[/bold] wrote: harvey_uk says.. 'Victoria ward (maternity is the same). Thank Labour for the international health service we run'. .......AND all that rain during the winter months, too! Bloody Socialists![/p][/quote]And they are beaming invisible rays into people's skulls which make them want to rush out and have a gay marriage! Mr. Datchery
  • Score: 1

12:36pm Wed 2 Apr 14

mr.taxpayer says...

What a stunner.
What a stunner. mr.taxpayer
  • Score: 1

11:36am Sun 6 Apr 14

Frank Ward says...

The comments of Mr Datchery are only partly correct?
While we should applaud the NHS vision of the early day 1948 pioneers of the Labour Party, for those finding it difficult to reconcile this with the present day paragons of virtue, this was the period when the Labour Party consisted of genuine dedicated socialists. However, those who laid the foundations of our health service never envisaged that one day this would be available for use on demand by the citizens of twenty seven other countries?
The reference to 40% of staff being foreign nationals is grossly misleading.
The majority of those we depended on over the years to keep the NHS viable as a service are from the Commonwealth, who under the Immigration Act 1983 have 'the right of abode' to reside in the United Kingdom and are not and never have been foreigners within the context of those arriving from the EU.
However, the arrival of the 'gang masters' from the EU following the 'open door' policies of the previous Labour Government compounded by their successors, offering cheaper alternative labour resources has now diluted the ranks of those who staff the NHS.
Frank Ward
Chairman
Hertsmere UKIP
The comments of Mr Datchery are only partly correct? While we should applaud the NHS vision of the early day 1948 pioneers of the Labour Party, for those finding it difficult to reconcile this with the present day paragons of virtue, this was the period when the Labour Party consisted of genuine dedicated socialists. However, those who laid the foundations of our health service never envisaged that one day this would be available for use on demand by the citizens of twenty seven other countries? The reference to 40% of staff being foreign nationals is grossly misleading. The majority of those we depended on over the years to keep the NHS viable as a service are from the Commonwealth, who under the Immigration Act 1983 have 'the right of abode' to reside in the United Kingdom and are not and never have been foreigners within the context of those arriving from the EU. However, the arrival of the 'gang masters' from the EU following the 'open door' policies of the previous Labour Government compounded by their successors, offering cheaper alternative labour resources has now diluted the ranks of those who staff the NHS. Frank Ward Chairman Hertsmere UKIP Frank Ward
  • Score: 0

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