Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Patient, 62, had to walk 23 miles

A health board is investigating after a patient had to walk the 23-mile journey home

Health officials are investigating claims a patient admitted to hospital with breathing difficulties had to make a 23-mile journey home on foot.

Peter Rees was taken by ambulance to Glangwili's accident and emergency unit in Carmarthen, west Wales, on December 31 because he was struggling to catch his breath.

Doctors diagnosed the 62-year-old with a chest infection.

But the father-of-three has voiced anger after claiming he was sent on his way at 2am on New Year's Day without being offered any help to get home.

Mr Rees, who said he did not have a wallet on him due to his emergency admission, reportedly walked 12 miles on dark country roads until a passing police car gave him a lift.

"It was dreadful; the most horrible night of my life. I had dark clothing on, I was feeling most unwell and I had to walk on unlit roads on one of the most dangerous nights of the year," the South Wales Evening Post quoted him as saying.

"I was literally clinging on to bramble bushes as I edged along the hedgerow in the face of oncoming traffic. I was shattered, freezing, I felt giddy and I lost my footing more than once."

He has since made an official complaint to Hywel Dda Health Board which runs Glangwili, also known as West Wales General Hospital.

A spokesman for the health board said: "We regret to hear about the situation Mr Rees found himself in on New Year's Day. The board has now received a formal complaint and as the investigation is ongoing, we cannot comment further at this time.

"We'd like to reassure the public that there are a range of transport schemes in place, or being piloted, for patients who require assistance with non-emergency transportation."

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