A FORMER nurse, who is terminally ill, has slammed the care she received at Basingstoke hospital – saying she was “appalled and disgusted” with what she witnessed during her three-week stay.
Marion Dawn Briggs, 67, was given the devastating news that she had a terminal illness in late May during her admission but, despite the traumatic diagnosis, she said she was forced to share a ward with patients with mental illnesses who, she says, screamed, stole from other patients and stripped naked.
The great-grandmother, who worked in nursing for around 18 years, including a four-year spell at Park Prewett hospital, in Basingstoke, has vowed never to return to the hospital, in Aldermaston Road.
Mrs Briggs has an enlarged, diseased heart, which does not pump properly and she has fluid on her lungs.
For years, she had been treated for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and so had not had tests carried out on her heart.
But after being admitted to hospital on May 20, following problems breathing, a consultant realised she was not wheezing as would be expected and ordered a scan, which revealed the terminal heart problems.
Mrs Briggs, of Holt Cottages, Ashford Hill, was put on a six-bed ward in E4 where, she said, the conditions were intolerable because of nurses not being able to cope with elderly, mentally infirm patients.
Mrs Briggs said: “I have always thought Basingstoke hospital was brilliant. I have always sung their praises. But I’d rather die in a car park than go back there.
“Patients who are mentally infirm need special treatment – the staff could not cope. I saw some awful things.”
Mrs Briggs said she witnessed streaking, a patient who would scream the whole night long, people going to the toilet in public, and one patient who stole from others.
She said: “I know it is not their fault. There is no way they should be on the same ward as other sick patients.
“When I worked at Park Prewett, we had separate villas for patients with different conditions. That’s what is needed.”
Mrs Briggs has been receiving palliative care and support from St Michael’s Hospice, Alder-maston Road, since being discharged on June 11. She has put in a formal complaint to the hospital.
Donna Green, deputy chief executive of Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foun-dation Trust, said: “We have been made aware of this patient’s concerns.
“The trust takes all issues and concerns raised by patients, families and visitors very seriously, and our matron/clinical services lead has already been in discussion with Marion Briggs and her family.
“To protect patient confidentiality, we are unable to discuss specific individuals or the other patients who may have been receiving treatment on the same ward, except to say that patients are placed on the ward that is clinically most appropriate for them.”