Faith in hospital gone after ‘shocking’ care for King’s Lynn couple

Ann Barber is unhappy with treatment recieved by her husband.
Ann Barber is unhappy with treatment recieved by her husband.
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A woman from Lynn was left fearing for her husband’s life after he was discharged from Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital after less than two hours despite suffering bleeding on the brain.

Ann Barber, 76, of Fairstead, was awoken by her 82-year-old husband, Hugh, in the early hours of the morning when he began to feel unwell.

She said: “He had a headache most of the day before but it was getting worse and he had a stomach ache.

“His face hadn’t dropped but he was slurring a bit and he’s had strokes before. I was terrified he was going to die so I rang 999.”

Mr Barber was taken to hospital for tests, his wife planned to follow but an hour- and-a-half after he was carried out, she received a call from her husband saying he was being discharged.

Mrs Barber said: “His voice didn’t sound right. I went immediately and they kept going on about a water infection. He was confused, only giving one-word answers and I said I didn’t think he would be able to walk.

“I got him in a wheelchair but I had to take him outside in just his pyjamas and there was ice on the ground. I couldn’t get him into the car and he couldn’t understand what I was telling him to do.”

She added: “I was terrifed he would fall and I would never get him up again.”

Mrs Barber went back inside and asked at reception for help, but nobody came to their rescue. In the end, two off-duty staff members who were passing stopped to help. When they arrived home, Mrs Barber was faced with the same problem and was forced to rely on a passing cyclist to help get Hugh inside.

She said: “We got him into his chair but he kept his eyes shut the whole time.

“They should never have let him come out like that. He could have died.”

Hugh was readmitted later that afternoon for tests which revealed he had suffered a bleed at the front of his brain.

Mrs Barber said: “He’d had a brain haemorrhage, but they couldn’t tell me why and the doctors were quite brusque, not at all sympathetic. I never expected it to be so serious so it was quite a shock.”

Mr Barber is receiving treatment on the stroke unit but has lost the use of his legs, and his left arm, he is unable to speak or swallow food and is currently being fed through a tube.

Mrs Barber said: “He’s not with us most of the time and keeps hallucinating. He will probably have to go into a nursing home as I won’t be able to manage.”

She added: “His treatment has been shocking. I’ve no faith in the hospital, I’d rather finish myself off than go in there for treatment and if nobody speaks up this is going to happen again.”

Dr Manjit Obhrai, chief executive said: “A full investigation is under way to look at the issues Mrs Barber has raised. I want to apologise to Mrs Barber for the deficiencies in her husband’s care.

“We will share the findings of this investigation with Mrs Barber and ensure that appropriate measures are put in place to avoid any reoccurrence. We will continue to provide ongoing support to meet any further needs she may have.”