Woman checks out of a hospital nightmare

Picture 18/08/15 Emma Mitchell.'The Queen Elizabeth Hospital and The Royal Hospital for sick Kids
Picture 18/08/15 Emma Mitchell.'The Queen Elizabeth Hospital and The Royal Hospital for sick Kids

A Bearsden woman with a chronic lung condition felt so unsafe in the new Queen Elizabeth University Hospital that she decided to discharge herself.

The 28-year-old left the hospital in the early hours of the morning after just one night.

An out of hours GP had referred her there as she was struggling to breathe, with a letter detailing her medical history and condition - brittle asthma.

Her boyfriend dropped her off at the door as she was gasping for breathe and he went to park his car. When she arrived she was told to go to another door. After getting in there she found herself in a long empty corridor and sent a text message to her boyfriend to say she was alone and struggling to breathe and then she collapsed. An elderly man found her and went for help.

She said: “It was awful, I was relying on this man coming back with assistance.

“When medical staff arrived they gave me IV drugs to open my airways and an inhaler.

“I was put in a wheelchair and I tried several times to hand over the letter from my GP to someone.

“The staff were confused about who should be dealing with me. They were arguing about which department I should be in.

“It was unbelievable and quite a surreal experience.”

Meanwhile her GP letter had gone missing so they didn’t even know her name.

She said: “They had no idea what was wrong with me.

“It was chaotic and when they started to discuss giving me antibiotics it was frightening as I’m allergic to them.

“I tried to explain but I couldn’t speak.”

She was placed in a single room on a ward and had several asthma attacks. Unable to reach a buzzer for help she checked herself out at 4am because she felt safer at home with medication and equipment on hand.

An NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde spokesperson, said: “This patient was treated immediately by emergency department staff where she was taken and assessed before being admitted.

“We are sorry that she felt she could not stay in hospital and would be happy to respond to the patient in full on any concerns she may have on her treatment and care at the QEUH.

“We are reviewing external and internal ways finding on the site to help people access the correct entrances.

“We have also asked the GP Out of Hours Service to ensure patients referred to the emergency department of the Immediate Assessment Unit are given clear directions where to go.”