Pensioner blames ‘beds shortage’ after being asked to leave hospital following blood clot on lung

Alan Fox
Alan Fox

A man who had a life-threatening condition says he was asked to leave hospital early due to a beds shortage.

Alan Fox, 73, of Chasden Road, Gadebridge, suffered from a life-threatening pulmonary embolism while he was at Ivinghoe Golf Club.

He said: “Suddenly I could not breathe properly. I was puffing like an old train. I got back to my car, went to the urgent care centre in Hemel and they put me in an ambulance to Watford General.

“They put me on a drip and an ECG machine to record the electrical activity of my heart, and realised I had blood clots on the lung.

“I had only played four holes and I was playing quite well as well.”

Mr Fox was told to go to Hemel Hempstead Hospital every day for the injections he needs to get better. He said they even offered to send him his drugs by taxi.

He praised the hospital’s ‘brilliant facilities’ and ‘great nurses’ and said he actually enjoyed his stay there, but slammed politicians for NHS cutbacks.

He said the winding down of services at Hemel Hempstead and St Albans Hospitals had put a lot of pressure on Watford General.

The three of them are managed by West Herts Hospitals NHS Trust.

Deputy chief executive Lynn Hill said: “I would like to thank Mr Fox for his kind feedback about the service he received.

“Like hospitals across the country, we have seen a significant rise in the number of sick patients needing to be admitted to our wards.

“For instance, between July and September, we saw an increase of more than 10% compared to last year.

“This has undoubtedly placed pressure on our wards and we have plans in place to open additional beds over the coming weeks.

“We have also made changes to the way we treat patients which helps avoid unnecessary admissions.

“In addition, we are working with our local NHS and social services partners to help ensure patients who are clinically fit can be discharged as soon as possible.

“The ongoing care we offered to Mr Fox is in line with our policy and is standard across the NHS.

“Mr Fox did not need to stay in hospital for the type of care he required and was offered the choice of receiving daily treatment closer to where he lives, at Hemel Hempstead Hospital.

“This also avoids him having to travel to Watford Hospital on a daily basis.”