"Left out in the cold"
About: Northern General Hospital Northern General Hospital Sheffield S5 7AU
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.