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Yarmouth veteran's long wait for medical care

PUBLISHED: 20:00 30 September 2011

Melody Adams with her father John Roberts (93) who was left waiting for medical help for hours after a fall at home.

Picture: James Bass

Melody Adams with her father John Roberts (93) who was left waiting for medical help for hours after a fall at home. Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2011

A 93-YEAR-OLD second world war veteran, who was left bleeding after a fall at home, waited 24 hours for an out of hours nurse to dress the wound, his daughter claimed.

John Roberts, who lives at The Fisherman’s Hospital in Great Yarmouth, injured his arm in the fall. His daughter Melody Adams was furious after her father was left waiting more than seven hours for a home visit from a doctor and 24 hours for a nurse.

After several phone calls – and 10 hours later - she said she had no alternative but to dress the wound herself.

Mrs Adams said her father had the fall in the middle of the night and had called her about 6.45am, on Saturday, September 17.

“I went round there and called the doctors surgery. Because it was a Saturday I was automatically transferred to the out of hours centre, the PCT in Beccles,” she said.

“I was told a doctor would ring and they asked me if he needed an ambulance. Although I didn’t think he needed to be hospitalised, he definitely needed medical attention.”

Mrs Adams said she was warned it could take between two and six hours for a doctor to arrive.

“After six hours nobody had come,” she said. “It got to seven hours and I called them back and was told a doctor was en route and would be there in 10 minutes.”

Mrs Adams said a doctor arrived about 20 minutes later but after examining her father did not dress his wound, leaving him waiting for a nurse to attend.

As it got later, in desperation Mrs Adams said she put a loose dressing on her father’s arm and again called the out-of-hours service run by Harmoni on behalf of Great Yarmouth and Waveney PCT.

“I was told the night nurse would call. She phoned and said she would leave a message for the day nurse to go and see him which she did, but it was 24 hours he was waiting for a dressing.

Maureen Carson, director of nursing, quality and patient care for NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney, said: “We are always very concerned to hear about cases that do not meet our high standards of care,” she said.

“If the family would like to contact us directly we will meet with them and investigate this incident fully.”

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