"Left out in the cold"

About: Northern General Hospital

Anything else?

I was taken by ambulance to A&E in the early hours of this morning. I suffer from severe depression, and was feeling suicidal. I have no complaints over how I was attended to by the casualty staff. However, I was told I could return home - alone, in the middle of the night. I had no overcoat (other than a sleeveless jacket); it was raining, I had no change but fortunately a debit card in my wallet. I walked from casualty and had got as far as the Pitsmoor pub before I saw any traffic - fortunately, it was a taxi so I was able to get home OK. By then I was wet through, distressed - and feeling suicidal again!! My suggestion is that there should be a Discharge Desk where persons - particularly those with a vulnerable mental or medical state - can seek advice and reassurance, particularly late at night; that should be part of the hospital's 'duty of care'. (One goes from being attended to in a courteous fashion to basically being shown the exit door.) I feel also that a clearly-marked taxi rank on hospital grounds would be a great advantage.

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Response from Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for giving us your comments about your recent attendance at our A&E department and I'm sorry you were unhappy with your discharge.

If you would like us to investigate your concerns and respond back to you directly please do contact our Patient Services Team on either 0114 271 2400 or PST@sth.nhs.uk with more details.

Thanks you again for taking the time to let us know about your experience.