Deaf elderly man 'had to walk home from hospital'
A woman whose elderly sick brother had to walk home from Wexford General Hospital in the middle of the night said she is 'disgusted' at how he was treated.
Nancy Pitman of Brendan Corish Gardens said her brother Patrick (67), who is deaf, was brought to hospital by ambulance a week ago.
The Wexfordman who lives in Maudlintown had been vomiting for weeks and his GP arranged for him to go into hospital.
An ambulance took him to the A&E department where he underwent examination and tests.
Several hours later, at 2.30 a.m., hospital staff advised Patrick that he could return home, according to Nancy.
'He was told he would have to make his own way home. He went to the reception and asked them to ring a taxi but they pointed him to the public phone in the foyer,' she said.
'My brother is deaf and he can't use the phone,' said Nancy.
Patrick left the hospital and walked to Nancy's house in Brendan Corish Gardens.
She was shocked to see him standing at her door in the middle of the night as she had left her telephone number with A&E staff in case she needed to be contacted.
'They should have either brought him home in an ambulance or telephoned me,' she said.
'They gave him a sleeping tablet when he was there. He is deaf. He could have staggered out onto the road or anything,' said Nancy.
'They gave him a sleeping tablet and sent him home walking.
'When he asked them to ring a taxi, they said you'll have to find your own way.'
Nancy said her brother has been vomiting for five weeks and is still ill.
She decided to highlight the incident after reading recent local newspaper reports about the crisis in the ambulance service.
'I read about those men dying while waiting for an ambulance to arrive,' she said.
'My brother could have been one of those men.'