On the evening of May 9, I went around the corner to check that my 92-year-old mother had got to bed safely. It was just before 8pm.
She hadn’t, she had fallen over trying to get out of her chair and cracked the back of her head open.
Somehow she had then struggled into bed where I found her lying on a blood soaked pillow.
I called 999 for an ambulance at 8pm and made them aware that mum is on blood thinners, Apixiban, and has a yellow alert card as she could bleed without stopping on even a small cut.
It took two-and-a-half hours for an ambulance to get to us, at 10.35pm.
I had to call 999 twice more to see when and if an ambulance was going to turn up, reminding them of the Apixiban scenario.
I was told that the ambulances obviously had other priorities and to ‘apply pressure to the wound’. Mum’s head at that point was already so soaked in blood I couldn’t see where the wound was.
All I could do was keep her head pressed into the pillow, which I later had to throw away.
When the ambulance crew turned up, they checked her over and admitted her to hospital. I followed by car. At 11pm, I drew into the deserted hospital car park and parked up.
I was immediately confronted by two men and a woman who demanded money as they were ‘stranded and needed to get home’ to the West Country.
I said no and had to pretend to be calling 999 on my mobile before they would go, with various invectives.
I did not actually call 999 as I hadn’t the heart to wait another three hours for a response.
When I got to the A&E reception, I told the staff about the abusive and threatening people outside.
The receptionist pretty much shrugged and said ‘we have been having trouble with them, we might have to do something about it’. Not much help to me, especially as – when mum was finally given a bed at 3.30am – I then had to go back out, alone, to my car and head for home.
The receptionist’s other cheery words had been that while there were quite a few police personnel in the hospital at that time, for one reason or another, the people outside wouldn’t be in their remit to deal with and ‘we’d probably have to be raped before they would do anything’.
Mum was 93 on May 20.
So, not the best experience in the world. If for any reason mum thinks she had to go to hospital, she bursts into tears.
Vanessa V Lavender
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