A woman is calling for an ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctor to be on duty at Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital over the weekend.
Mandy Freear endured a miserable weekend which she says could have been avoided if the QEH had the specialist doctors on duty.
Miss Freear twice called out an ambulance and was admitted into the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital before returning to the Lynn wards where she was finally treated. Now she has been told that both her tonsils need to be removed.
She said: “I went to the hospital on Saturday morning and if they had put me in a bed on an intravenous drip of antibiotics, it would not have got so bad.”
Miss Freear, 57, of Gloucester Court, Wisbech, was having problems breathing due to severe tonsilitis and dialled 111 at 2am on Saturday and was patched through to Kent out-of-hours. She was told either go to the QEH or to her surgery in the morning and opted for the latter. When she had not received a call back by 9am, Miss Freear, who has asthma and diabetes, called 999.
Paramedics felt Miss Freear had an abscess on her tonsils and decided to take her to hospital. She said: “But there is no ENT doctor on over the weekend at the QEH so they sent me home with the ambulance with antibiotics.”
But by Saturday night she began to feel worse and again dialled for an ambulance, which ended up waiting outside her home for an hour until an appointment with the out-of-hours doctors service in Lynn was available.
The doctor then decided that Miss Freear needed to be admitted to hospital and she was sent over to the ENT ward in Norwich.
Miss Freear, who says her diabetic and asthma medication did not follow her, said she was placed in an isolation room as the registrar felt she had glandular fever, but was placed on a drip with antibiotics. On Monday morning, Miss Freear was told that she would be sent back to Lynn that day but staff could not get an ambulance due to “political reasons”. During that time one of her tonsils had split and was suffering problems with her diabetes and asthma as she did not have her medication.
A similar problem occurred on Tuesday and eventually she was transported back to Lynn in a taxi.
On Wednesday, Miss Freear was seen by a consultant who completed investigative work and has decided that her tonsils need to be removed. She said: “If it happens again I am not going to go to Lynn. I’m going to ask to be taken to Peterborough then I would know that I am in the right place.”
Hospital chief-executive Dorothy Hosein said: “During the weekend, the Ear Nose and Throat service has been commissioned to be provided by consultants on a rota from our trust, along with James Paget University Hospital and the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.
“Generally if patients come to A&E with an ENT concern they are treated here. Where necessary at the weekend, cases are referred to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. If the patient needs to be admitted they will be moved back to us the following week if necessary.”