Older patient left without food or drink for 20 hours in hospital
A hospital patient was left without food or drink for 20 hours on one of the hottest days of the year when his operation was delayed.
Colin Sargent, 75, went into hospital to have a myringoplasty, an operation to close a hole in his eardrum, last Friday morning.
He was instructed not to eat or drink from 10pm on Thursday as the procedure was scheduled for between 7am and 3pm the following day.
But Mr Sargent, who lives in Stapleton in Bristol, was not seen until 6.15pm - meaning he went without food or water for 20 hours before the operation.
Temperatures in Bristol on Friday soared to up to 30C.
Mr Sargent, who has recently had a pacemaker fitted, said he arrived at St Michael’s Hospital in Bristol at 7am on Friday and was informed six others were also scheduled for the same operation.
He told the Bristol Post: “I had seen younger people come in after me and have the operation, but I was left waiting.
“No one could tell me why it wasn’t happening and I was becoming very dehydrated. The nurses were kind and asked if I was OK but I had started to feel hot and dizzy.
“One of them rang down and asked if she could give me some water but was told she couldn’t.
“She brought me a polystyrene cup with a half inch of water at 4pm and told me I could only wet my lips. As I had recently had a pacemaker fitted, I thought I would be made a priority but no one knew what was going on.”
Mr Sargent was taken into surgery. After the procedure, he was kept in overnight and put on a drip.
None of the nurses told Mr Sargent that he was suffering from dehydration, but he claims he felt “hot and dizzy”.
James Rimmer, chief operating officer at University Hospitals Bristol Trust, said: “We are concerned to hear that Mr Sargent is unhappy with his experience at our trust.
“We are committed to providing the best possible care for all of our patients. Mr Sargent’s operation was delayed by a few hours because another patient suffered complications and needed to be prioritised ahead of him.
“All patients are monitored regularly for signs of dehydration, especially in hot weather, and appropriate actions are taken if required. Patients undergoing surgery are required to be nil by mouth before operations to avoid complications with the anaesthetic.
“Mr Sargent has not raised his concerns with the trust. We recommend that any patient with concerns about their treatment speak to the trust’s patient support and complaints team, so that a thorough investigation can take place and any outstanding issues can be resolved.”
Are you able to Speak Out Safely? Sign our petition to put pressure on your trust to support an open and transparent NHS.