Apology for Brooke man with Parkinson’s disease who was left to get home alone by Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital has apologised after a patient with Parkinson's disease was discharged at 1am with no help to get home.

Gordon Barnes, of Brooke, had asked for help with a taxi to get home, but when he didn't get it he tried to hitch-hike for two hours before waiting for more than five hours for a bus.

He said: 'I asked if they could get me a cab... but they said 'we don't do that', so I half jokingly said 'all I can do is hitch-hike then' and he said 'fine – that is fair enough'.'

Mr Barnes had been taken to the hospital after a fall just after 9pm at Brooke church left him unconscious.

Mr Barnes, who has suffered from Parkinson's disease for 19 years, said he had no problem with his treatment, but the difficulties arose when he tried to get home.


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He was left stranded without his medication while his wife, Linda, who has arthritis and can't drive, had no idea where he was.

The Norwich City supporter and former amateur referee said it took him three days to get over the experience. 'I feel I was treated very badly, very badly indeed, in the getting home aspect,' he said.

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Two weeks later, he received an apology from the hospital.

Director of Nursing Nick Coveney said: 'We have apologised to Mr Barnes for the experience he had getting home following his visit to our A&E department and we are very sorry for any distress we may have caused Mr Barnes and his family.

'We do have processes in place to ensure vulnerable patients have transport home and our staff do ensure that transport options are discussed with patients and their relatives. Unfortunately this appears not to have worked smoothly for Mr Barnes.'

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