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Woman criticises support at York Hospital and claims NHS is ‘broken’

Dr Clare Hughes said she was taken to the hospital by ambulance in the early afternoon on July 8 and discharged in the late afternoon on July 9.

The 46-year-old, who lives in Selby and is self-employed, said she had been struggling for around six weeks with her asthma which then turned into a chest infection.

Despite being put on antibiotics and steroids she was not getting better and on July 8, 111 sent an ambulance which took her to York Accident and Emergency.  

Dr Hughes was discharged on July 9 and told that the matter could be dealt with by her GP.

She is diagnosed with autism, ADHD (attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder) and OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder).

The culmination of these disorders mean she is unable to regulate her emotions, struggles with conversations and processing information, has a high sensitivity to noise and bright lights and is prone to panic attacks and autistic shutdowns.

After arriving at the emergency department, Dr Hughes said she was taken to a small private room with a table and chair after a wait of around two hours.

York Press: The room Dr Hughes was inThe room Dr Hughes was in (Image: Dr Clare Hughes)

She said there was no bed in the room meaning she was unable to lie flat and sleep so resorted to lying on the floor with her head on her partner’s lap.

Dr Hughes claims she was not given regular updates on how long she would be in the room for, and when she did get information said it was contradictory which led to her having bad and frequent panic attacks.

She claims she had multiple autistic meltdowns and panic attacks throughout the night and vomited because of these.

During these meltdowns and attacks, Dr Hughes said she was not checked on by nurses and had to scream and cry at them to get attention.

She claims she was shown outside to a garden to sit and have a cup of tea by a nurse but was not given any other help to calm her.


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Following her time in York Hospital she said: “I should caveat all this by saying that I truly support the NHS. However, the entire system is completely broken.

“More frequent updates, proper information and some empathy and reassurance would have gone a long way to making me feel better and the promise of a bed so that I didn’t have to sleep on the floor.”

Dr Hughes said she has raised a formal complaint with the hospital.

A spokesperson for York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We take seriously any concerns about care, and we are disappointed to hear of any occasion where a patient feels that the care they received fell below the standard we would expect. 

“Dr Hughes’ concerns have been shared with us, and these are currently being considered through our complaints procedure.”

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