AN ELDERLY Gnosall man was forced to endure a 60-mile round trip for emergency treatment because of Stafford Hospital's overnight accident and emergency department closure.
Arthur Tibbett was first taken 18 miles to Wolverhampton's New Cross Hospital on Thursday night, but then transferred the following day to Russells Hall Hospital in Dudley - 10 miles from New Cross and more than 30 miles from his home.
The 87-year-old, of Masons Lawn, had been suffering arm pains and was diagnosed with a blood clot - a potentially fatal condition - and given treatment including Warfarin before being discharged.
But step-daughter Janet McGirk has said Mr Tibbett's lengthy journey is a graphic demonstration of why Stafford needs a 24-hour A&E department.
She said the experience left her step- father disorientated. Her mother Hilda, also 87, was distressed because she was not sure where her husband had been taken.
"I have nothing against his treatment, just the way it transpired.
“ Dudley is a long way to go at his age," said Mrs McGirk, of Burlington Drive, Stafford.
"When he was due to be discharged on Friday the hospital asked if we would like an ambulance home and I said yes, then I had to get back to work.
“That night we were told an ambulance
wasn't available to take him home. "His neighbours across the road, who
are also elderly, had to fetch him, and then he was told he would have to go all the way back to Dudley on Monday for a blood test.
“People have had to take him back again, and with the cost and his age, I am not happy about it. He could have had a blood test at Stafford.
"Stafford Hospital is the closest so he should be treated there. I know accident and emergency wasn't open on Thursday night when he rang for an ambulance but why wasn't he sent to Stoke?"
Overnight A&E provision at Stafford stopped in December 2011 and the unit could be scrapped altogether in proposals announced by healthcare regulator Monitor last week.