Man wandered streets after he was sent home from hospital

A PENSIONER who had suffered a head injury was found wandering the streets after being discharged from hospital without his family being informed of his accident. Eighty-one-year-old Mervyn Mathews, of Spring Drive in Stevenage, was taken to Lister by amb

A PENSIONER who had suffered a head injury was found wandering the streets after being discharged from hospital without his family being informed of his accident.

Eighty-one-year-old Mervyn Mathews, of Spring Drive in Stevenage, was taken to Lister by ambulance after he tripped on a pavement, fell and hit his head while out shopping near his home on Saturday.

Mr Mathews was treated and discharged later that day, without his family ever being contacted.

His daughter, Carol Azzarian, 57, of Inskip Crescent in Stevenage, said: "I'm annoyed at the way Lister has treated him. Staff didn't ask him if he had contact numbers or if he wanted a taxi home.


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"In his wallet there is my number, my cousin's number and my mobile number but they just pushed him out of the door.

"They didn't even ask if there was anyone at home."

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Mr Mathews suffers from short-term memory loss and is quite frail, so when Mrs Azzarian was unable to contact him that day, she called the hospital on the off-chance he had been admitted.

When she realised he had, she drove to Lister but he had already been discharged.

Mrs Azzarian said: "The doctor's words to me were that they had 'patched him up and let him go'.

"I really feel he was treated quite badly."

Mrs Azzarian mounted a search for her father and eventually found him wandering the streets near his home.

He had apparently walked from Lister to the Old Town in Stevenage to look for a bus stop, but had not been able to find one.

Mrs Azzarian said: "He was quite disorientated. When I asked him where he was going, he was near to tears and said he didn't have a clue. I think he was slightly concussed."

She added: "He could have just wandered around anywhere and ended up getting knocked down, or we could still be looking for him now."

The East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust's director of nursing, Noel Scanlon, said: "When it comes to his discharge home, we let Mr Mathews and his family down.

"Our procedures are clear and his family should have been contacted so that they could come and collect him, or an alternative arrangement agreed.

"This did not happen and on behalf of the staff involved and the Trust, I wish to apologise to Mr Mathews and his family for what happened.

"Already the A&E team has been informed of what occurred and that discharge procedures, especially for vulnerable patients like Mr Mathews, must be adhered to at all times, no matter what the circumstances.

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