The daughter of an elderly Horncastle couple has heaped praise on staff at the East Midlands Ambulance Service, and Boston’s Pilgrim Hospital, for their ‘amazing’ level of care.
Debbie Murphy contacted the News to thank both organisations who, she says, often receive unfair criticism.
Mrs Murphy revealed her father (83) was suffering from an infected leg ulcer, and her mother (82) is undergoing treatment for leukaemia.
Her parents don’t want to be identified.
She said the family called for an ambulance on a Saturday night because her father became unwell.
She said: “The ambulance arrived within the hour, and two incredibly sensitive and friendly paramedics took my father to the Pilgrim Hospital.
“My mum accompanied him in the ambulance and was treated with the utmost respect and care.”
Mrs Murphy and her husband followed the ambulance in their own car.
She added: “Arriving at around 10.45 on a Saturday night, we expected it to be crammed, and we weren’t wrong.
“There were trolleys lined up the corridors as we prepared for a long wait to be seen.
“Within ten minutes, we were taken into a cubicle where a really friendly nurse took bloods and insured we had everything we needed.”
“With mum also being ill, a chair was found for her - and a blanket to cover my father who was just in his nightwear.
“A very short while later, a doctor came to assess the situation and again checked we didn’t need anything further.
“To cut a long story short, by 3am it was decided that my father would be admitted and we were to persuade my mum to be taken home by us.
“Both my parents are in their early eighties and four years ago my father had a massive stroke causing mobility problems, speech problems and trouble with understanding.
“At every point, my father was included in every conversation despite the knowledge that he probably wouldn’t understand.
“We were informed that a bed possibly wouldn’t be found until well into Sunday morning, so we left and took mum home.
“He was in fact discharged at lunchtime on Sunday, but during the rest of Saturday night he had constant care.
“He was moved onto an air mattress due to him not being comfortable on the trolley he was on.
“Basically, the department did everything in their power to make him comfortable, and keep him safe.”
Mrs Murphy went on to say she ‘does not know’ how staff at the hospital cope on a Saturday night, having to deal with abusive and often drunk patients.
She added that on that particular Saturday night in A&E, there were only two ‘permanent’ nurses on duty with the remainder all agency staff.
She said: “The abuse they received because they physically didn’t have the beds to transfer patients was awful.
“If my father hadn’t been treated in the respectful, caring way that he was, we would never have persuaded mum to leave him, and we would probably have ended up with her collapsing, and possibly being in the bed next to him.
“The staff went above and beyond. They had to deal with all those drunks - and worse. They were amazing.”
•Mrs Murphy says her dad is recovering well at home and her mum is receiving ongoing treatment.