'Deep regret' over patient's 10-hour trolley wait

Michelle Champion Michelle Champion, pictured in 2001, was being treated for a suspected broken hip

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The firm that runs patient transport for the NHS in Somerset has said it "deeply regrets" leaving a disabled woman waiting 10 hours on a trolley.

Michelle Champion, 47, was being treated for a suspected broken hip at Salisbury District Hospital, seven miles from her Wiltshire care home.

Despite receiving a call just after 01:00 BST, NSL South West Ltd did not take her home until after 12:00.

The firm said it deeply regretted the distress caused to her and her family.

Dr Belinda Webb, from NSL said: "We have reviewed our call logs and confirm that we have now identified a call at 01:17 from Salisbury General Hospital asking to move a 47- year-old lady.

"NSL call-takers were not told anything on this occasion that suggested this was anything other than a 'normal' transport request; there is no mention of complications or the urgency of the transport required and the caller gave the impression that it was fine if the patient was not moved during the night."

'Confusion'

The firm accepted it was wholly responsible for Miss Champion's transport because she is registered with a Somerset GP, despite currently receiving rehabilitation at a specialist care home in Wiltshire.

NSL said resources were kept within Somerset unless there were exceptional circumstances.

The Wiltshire patient transport service was also contacted by Salisbury District Hospital but was not obliged to move Miss Champion, from Shepton Mallet, as she was a Somerset patient.

"This is where perhaps confusion occurred as we are doing a journey totally outside of the Somerset boundaries," said Dr Webb.

"If they had been returning to an address or care home within Somerset then it would have been much clearer."

Welfare officers would be in touch with the family, she added.

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