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Housebound Woman Forced To Pay For Taxis
A Housebound Coatbridge woman was forced to pay £80 out of her own pocket to travel into Glasgow for hospital appointments after ambulances due to pick her up were cancelled at short notice. Sarah O’Neill has a dislocated left hip and has been attending the Golden Jubilee Hospital in Clydebank in preparation for surgery to replace both of her hips next month.
But the 57-year-old claims she has been badly let down by the ambulance service when, on two separate occasions, she had to struggle her way into taxis to get to the hospital for pre-surgery consultation following the ambulance cancellations. Sarah now fears a repeat of her “inconvenient journey” when she travels to the hospital for her surgery in mid-October.
She said: “I have a dislocated left hip and have a history of hip replacements. I am housebound and in quite a bit of pain so having to get taxis all the way into Glasgow made for a really inconvenient journey. Each of the two trips cost me £40 and I was told that I couldn’t claim the money back, so I am out of pocket too. I am not blaming the Golden Jubilee Hospital at all, it's the ambulance service who have let me down. I just found the whole thing very distressing, which is the last thing I need right now due to my health problems.”
Sarah continued: “I was a patient at Monklands Hospital and when the dislocation to my hip happened I underwent an operation there. But after that, a consultant wanted a second opinion and that’s when I was referred to the Golden Jubilee.
“I am due to go in for surgery in the second or third week in October and will be in hospital indefinitely until at least the second week in November as I have to go through two separate procedures. This will be a really stressful time and I am very worried about the prospect of travelling to the hospital for my surgery in a taxi if the same thing happens again.”
A spokesperson for the Golden Jubilee Hospital said: “We are sorry to hear that anyone has had issues in accessing our services. Whilst we cannot comment on individual cases, we can confirm that we have processes in place for patients to inform us of any issues relating to travelling to the Golden Jubilee. Our in-house patient transport service and on-site hotel are just two ways we can support patients. As we want our patients to have the best possible experience of our services, we would encourage anyone who thinks they may have difficulties in being treated here to get in touch with us at the earliest opportunity.”
The spokesperson continued: “The hospital is home to one of the largest orthopaedic centres in Europe, carrying out approximately 25 per cent of all hip and knee replacement procedures in Scotland. As a national resource for NHS Scotland which is dedicated to providing high quality, safe, effective and patient centred care for patients across Scotland, we are always happy to assist patients to ensure that they receive appropriate care and support at every stage of their journey.”