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An old man suffering from breathing problem asked to walk 23 miles to his home by the hospital (11 January 2013)

Date: 11/01/2013
Duncan Lewis, Legal News Solicitors, An old man suffering from breathing problem asked to walk 23 miles to his home by the hospital

Peter Reese a 62 year old patient suffering with acute breathing difficulties was rushed to West Wales General Hospital in Carmarthen West Wales where he was diagnosed with chest infection after tests and told he could go home at 2am.

But he was in for a shock when he was told to walk 23 miles home after being discharged in the middle of the night. He claimed that he was offered no help and was told to leave the hospital for being aggressive by a nurse.

The father-of-three had arrived at hospital without his wallet and asked staff for help with transport home explaining that he lived 23 miles away in Llanwrda and had no one to collect him.

Having walked around 12 miles along pitch dark roads despite feeling unwell, Mr Rees was picked up by a passing police car and arrived home at 6.30am on New Year's Day.

He said it was the most dreadful and horrible night of his life. He had dark clothing on and was feeling unwell and had to walk on unlit roads on one of the most dangerous nights of the year.

He added that hospitals were supposed to be caring places but the nurse sent him packing knowing that only way he could go home was walking.

Mr Rees, who spent a week recovering in bed, has since made a formal complaint to the hospital.

He had become unwell while at home on New Year's Eve and was examined by a paramedic at home who took him to a&e at the 391 bed NHS hospital.

He was later told he was allowed to go home following an examination, X-rays and a blood test. He was tired but didn’t raise his voice or swear and he was not aggressive as the staff nurse had alleged but he was told to leave.

Even ambulance men had said that they were not allowed to drive patients home he added that even if he had money with him at that hour he would not have got a taxi either.

He would have been happy if he was allowed to sleep on a chair until morning when he could have arranged a lift home but he was virtually shown the door the attitude of the nurse was something he would never forget he said. It was heartless and no way to treat a man of his age who had just been diagnosed with a chest infection.

His partner Annie was unable to pick him up as she could not drive and he had to walk miles and warned by a police car passing which stopped and warned him that it was dangerous to walk on the road but he had no choice. After walking for further few miles he was offered lift by second police car.

Mr Rees is now considering taking legal action against the hospital claiming that it failed in its duty of care.

A spokesman for the Hywel Dda Health Board which runs the hospital said that they regretted about the situation Mr Rees found himself in on New Year's Day. And that a formal complaint was being investigated and they could not comment at this time.

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