Man's anger over not being allowed to wait with mentally ill wife at Chesterfield A&E
A man has hit out at Chesterfield Royal Hospital after staff told his mentally ill wife she would have to wait in the A&E department alone.
Paul Brough, 54, visited the Royal’s emergency department with his wife Lisa on Friday evening (July 16) after she began experiencing chest pains.
Lisa, from Chesterfield, has suffered with severe anxiety and other mental health issues for over 20 years due to past trauma, something which has left her afraid to go out on her own and is documented on her medical notes.
Upon arrival at the hospital, Paul says he explained the situation and the fact his wife would not stay without him – only to be told would have to leave Lisa alone to face the four-hour wait in the main reception.
He said: “Lisa does have good days, for example she’ll have one good day a week if that. She doesn’t like being in places where there’s other people. She doesn’t trust being in places where there’s men – if I don’t go anywhere with her, she doesn’t go out.
"We went to the hospital and they told me I wouldn’t be able to wait with her. I explained to staff that she suffers with anxiety and depression.”
Paul claims Lisa got so ‘upset and agitated’ with the situation while in the hospital’s A&E department that she eventually opted against being seen by medical staff and instead returned home, where her symptoms eventually eased after a day or so.
He added: “Chesterfield Royal Hospital do not seem to deal with mental health issues seriously enough. It is about time staff were trained or took mental health more seriously and realised that rules for one person sometimes is not helpful for another.”
A spokesperson for Chesterfield Royal Hospital said: “We always strive to ensure our patients are comfortable and reassured when in our care and are disappointed to hear when a patient feels that hasn’t happened.
“We currently have social distancing restrictions in place to keep our patients safe, which means that it is not always possible for visitors to accompany a patient.
"To accommodate such occasions, including for mental health reasons, an alert can be set up which means the team will know that a certain patient needs to be accompanied whilst receiving treatment. That clearly wasn’t the case in Lisa’s last visit.
“Our ED team would welcome the opportunity to talk to Lisa and her husband about their recent experience to see if we can resolve this and make sure that it doesn’t happen if they need to use our services again.”