Hastings toddler left for hours without medicine due to patient transport delays

Stephanie and Ian Elliot with their two-year-old son, Robert. SUS-160426-102721001
Stephanie and Ian Elliot with their two-year-old son, Robert. SUS-160426-102721001

A toddler was left for six hours unable to get vital medication because of delays to patient transport.

Two-year-old Robert Elliot, who has cystic fibrosis, and his mother, Stephanie, of Farley Bank, were late arriving at King’s College Hospital in London on Friday (April 22) and afterwards had to wait until 9.15pm to be brought home.

Robert’s father, Ian, said: “Robert ended up missing half of his medication because of what happened on Friday.

“He has nine different types a day and cystic fibrosis is such a life-threatening illness.

“On Friday morning we were told to be ready by 9am. We waited and by 11am I rang the community nurse to check to see if it had been booked. It had but the transport didn’t turn up until 11.40am.”

Ian said his son was due for his annual check-up and X-rays at King’s College Hospital at 1pm but was unable to arrive until 2pm.

He added: “Doctors at the hospital told her off for being late for the 1pm appointment.”

When Stephanie and her son were ready to go home, they were told to make their own way back to Hastings, Ian said. He told the Observer he and his wife had to check again to see whether the patient transport back home had been booked, which it had.

Ian said: “It was due at 3.15pm but didn’t arrive until six hours later. As a result, Robert was too tired to have his medication and missed his course of antibiotics.”

Robert is one of hundreds of patients across Sussex who have faced long delays and cancelled operations after patient transport turned up late and even failed to arrive.

On April 1, Coperforma took over running the service from South East Coast Ambulance Service. Since then Coperforma has apologised to all those affected, with chief executive officer, Michael Clayton saying it had been ‘unacceptable’.

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