Amputee waits two weeks for hospital transfer
A patient was left at a hospital 50 miles from home following a leg amputation for nearly two weeks forcing her her husband to rack up costs of more than £1,000.
Sharon Gargate, a 52-year-old diabetic from Mitcham, was on holiday in Camber Sands when she fell ill from a blood clot and collapsed.
She was rushed to hospital in Hastings before being transferred to the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton where she underwent two operations - but doctors could not save her leg.
Following the traumatic operation Mrs Gargate requested a transfer to St Helier Hospital to be near friends and family.
But with no beds available Mrs Gargate was left waiting for 11 days while her husband paid bills of more than £1,000 in bed and breakfast and travel costs to be at her side.
Colin Gargate, 54, said: "It was just the waiting and the traumatic experience that my wife was going through after having a leg amputated.
"It takes such a long time to get back from Brighton.
"They kept saying every day there was hope of a bed and then there wasn’t.
"It was so stressful and traumatic."
Mrs Gargate has since been transferred to St Helier but believes they should not have had to wait over a week to get a bed at their local hospital. Mr Gargate said: "We tried everything and even went to our MP.
"I was phoning around everywhere and we should not have had to do that.
"There should be beds available but there have been so many cuts and its putting a lot of pressure on the NHS and hospitals."
A spokesperson for St Helier Hospital said: "We would like to offer our sincerest apologies to Mrs Gargate for the delay in transferring her from Brighton Hospital to St Helier Hospital.
"Over the last month, we have seen a significant increase in the number of people attending our A&E departments and, in turn, those patients who needed to be admitted to our wards.
"In addition, many have been very sick and needed to stay in hospital longer than might be expected.
"Whilst we recognise the importance of transferring patients to their local hospital as soon as is possible, we need to admit patients in order of clinical priority."