A GRAN has slammed hospital chiefs after being left waiting almost five hours, covered in blood, for transport to Sunderland.
Maureen Garlinge’s misery began when she fell ill after suffering a heavy nose bleed.
The 63-year-old was taken to South Tyneside District Hospital, in Harton Lane, South Shields, by her sister June at about 10.15am, and after beeing seen in Accident and Emergency, she was told she would need to be transferred to Sunderland Royal Hospital.
Patient transport was arranged and Mrs Garlinge was told she would be picked up at about 11.45am – but despite being told her lift was “booked” it was 4.30pm before it finally arrived.
And, after belatedly arriving at Sunderland, she spent six days in hospital before finally being allowed home.
Mrs Garlinge, who is living with her daughter in Egerton Road, South Shields, until she recovers, said: “I was seen at the hospital and told I had to go to Sunderland Royal. They put a wrist strap on me and put me in a wheelchair and told me I’d be picked up in an hour.
“I was still waiting at 2.15pm, sitting there with my clothes covered in blood. I had no idea what was wrong with me.
“My sister went up and asked where the transport was, and all she was kept being told was it was booked.
“When I finally got to Sunderland, they were so nice. They saw me straight away and put me at ease.
“They were completely different to those at South Tyneside, who just didn’t seem to care.
“I am annoyed by the whole thing, as no one would give a straight answer or an explanation as to what was going on.
“I wouldn’t want to go through what I have done again, and definitely not at Shields. I have lost all faith in South Tyneside Hospital.
“Sunderland is a much better place.”
Mrs Garlinge, was released from Sunderland Royal after undergoing tests to find out the cause of her severe nose bleeds, thought to have been high blood pressure.
Her daughter Helen, 42, who arrived at the hospital at 11.45am after being told her mum had taken ill, says she was left “appalled” by the treatment she received.
Miss Garlinge said: “Nobody seemed interested or bothered at the hospital about my mam. Every time we asked where the transport was, we were told it was booked.
“I respect the fact they are busy and have other patients to be picked up and dropped off, but at one point there were three drivers sitting there, just chatting.
“We had been told she would have transport in an hour – it was 4.30pm before she was finally picked up and taken to Sunderland. I just couldn’t believe it.
“I can’t praise Sunderland enough, the staff there were unbelievable and really put the staff at South Tyneside to shame.
“Nothing was a problem to them, and they kept us informed all the time my mam was in.”
Miss Garlinge has since been back to South Tyneside District Hospital to make a complaint, and was told a form would be sent out to her, which she says she is still waiting for.
The mum-of-two added: “Nobody should have to wait the length of time my mam had to for transport. If there’s a problem with transport, people should be told.”
Hospital officials have promised to look into the complaint, which happened on Tuesday, March 20.
Steve Jamieson, South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust’s Director of Service Reform & Corporate Services, said: “We will be contacting this patient to discuss her experience in order that we can conduct an investigation to ensure any appropriate lessons are learned.
“In the interim period, we apologise for any stress and inconvenience she suffered as a consequence of these delays.”