Hospital 'ignores' collapsed patient
AN elderly woman who is dying from cancer was refused treatment after collapsing in a hospital car park, her family has claimed.
Staff at the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital said they would not come to the aid of 75-year-old Rose Barry as it was "policy" not to help patients outside the building, and advised her family they should call an ambulance.
This was in spite of the fact she lying on the ground just yards away from the main entrance and on hospital grounds. Instead passers-by stopped and helped transport her the short distance inside the premises where she was then placed in the care of medical staff.
She has since been diagnosed with terminal liver cancer.
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The hospital has subsequently apologised to the family and said they would be taking steps to ensure it did not happen again.
But Mrs Barry's daughter Beverley Barry said she was "disgusted" that no one come came to help.
She said: "The hospital is supposed to be a place of care and someone should have come out to help her. They didn't know what was wrong with her and as it turns out she has terminal cancer that we did not know about at the time.
"It is disgusting that a 75-year-old woman collapses in their car park, in their grounds, yet they refuse to come out and help."
Mrs Barry snr, who lives in Whipton, was on her way to a routine scheduled day appointment accompanied by her granddaughter Lori Bainborough when she began to feel unsteady on her feet and fell to the floor.
A passer-by dashed inside the hospital to ask for help.
The whole incident is estimated to have lasted around 20 minutes, in which time Mrs Bainborough was able to help her grandmother off the floor and get her inside.
She was kept in hospital for tests and the family were subsequently given the devastating diagnosis that she was dying.
Mrs Barry added: "Even though my mother was on hospital grounds, they said it was not their policy to come out and help and we should have called an ambulance. But we were just a few yards away from the main entrance so what good would calling an ambulance have done?
"She may be elderly but it was not normal for my mum to collapse in this way and she went down with quite a bang.
"It turns out my mother is very, very sick and is dying of liver cancer.
"We don't know if that is what caused her to collapse but we are all devastated.
"Someone from the hospital has since apologised and said that although it was 'policy' not to help outside the hospital they should have made an exception in this case."
Mrs Barry has lodged a formal complaint with the hospital and said she wanted the policy changed so the same thing did not happen again.
Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Foundation Trust director of nursing and patient care, Em Wilkinson-Brice said: "We are really sorry to hear that this patient and her relative had this experience and would like to work closely with them to establish what happened and learn how we can improve our response if a similar situation arose again."