Woman's anger at mum's Conquest swine flu ordeal

A woman has accused the Conquest of downplaying an outbreak of swine flu.

Friday, 18th March 2016, 5:45 pm
Updated Friday, 18th March 2016, 6:25 pm
conquest hospital stock pic SUS-150430-105225001

Tracy Cole of Bowie Place, Bexhill, says her mum Margaret Robbins caught the virus when she was admitted to the acute assessment unit (AAU) on March 5.

C bay on the ward had been closed due to swine flu.

Tracy said the 73-year-old was left sitting in a chair for 12 hours before she was admitted to De Cham Ward for treatment, but didn’t seem to be getting better.

Tracy said: “We asked if it was swine flu and they said no. She went to sleep on Thursday and barely woke up until Sunday.”

A test carried out on Sunday (March 13) confirmed Margaret had swine flu.

But staff told Tracy the only Tamiflu tablets on site were locked in a cupboard for emergencies.

Tracy said: “They were thinking of giving me a prescription to go out and get it and bring it back to the hospital. Then it was ‘we will get it from Eastbourne, it should be tonight’.”

Tracy complained and staff relented.

But Tracy feels the Conquest is trying to cover up the swine flu cases.

She said: “I think it’s disgusting and everyone should know. They should not be allowed to sweep it under the carpet. Why are they putting people in a ward with swine flu?

“The woman who was sitting in the waiting room with my mum went to a different ward and she had it too. It was the only place they were together.”

In a separate incident, Tracy’s mother was left alone by staff and found naked and covered in blood where she had ripped her canula out.

Alice Webster, director of nursing for the Trust, said: “Providing patients with high quality care is our priority and we are sorry to hear that Mrs Cole feels we have not achieved this in the care of her mother. We take any complaints about the care we provide extremely seriously and would like to reassure Mrs Cole we will investigate the points she has raised and hope we will be able to address her concerns at a meeting on Friday.

“As expected at this time of year, we have seen a number of patients admitted with influenza, including influenza A (H1N1). This strain of influenza circulates in the community each year and is now considered a normal seasonal flu strain which is covered by the annual seasonal flu vaccine.”