The Coffs Harbour Health Campus.
The Coffs Harbour Health Campus. The Coffs Coast Advocate

Discharge bungle leaves George wet and lost

A COFFS Harbour man was found wandering near his home confused and wearing rain soaked pyjamas after no one notified his wife of his late night discharge from hospital.

Last Thursday at around 6pm, George Layton, 84, was walking near his home at Koala Villas when he fell and struck his head on the footpath.

Due to the wound bleeding badly, Mr Layton was taken by ambulance to the hospital at Coffs Harbour Health Campus where, according to his wife Sheila, he was treated 'well'.

"They told me he would be kept overnight for observation and I thought I'd come and get him on Friday," Mrs Layton said.

"So I brought all his clothes back home with me and left him at the hospital at about 8pm."

Mrs Layton couldn't sleep as she worried about her husband's condition.

But that worry turned to shock when she opened the front door early on Friday morning to find her husband sitting on the steps, rainsoaked and still in the pyjamas he was wearing at the hospital.

"He was soaking wet and had no idea what happened," Mrs Layton said.

Mrs Layton learned that her husband had been sent home at 3am in a taxi paid for by the hospital.

"It's ridiculous that they let him go at three o'clock in the morning in his pyjamas," she said.

"At least they could have phoned us."

Coffs Harbour Health Campus general manager, Margaret Bennett, has apologised 'unreservedly' for the inappropriate time and manner of Mr Layton's discharge.

"Mr Layton was to have remained in the Emergency Department for a CT scan on Friday morning, but the scan was able to be performed at 10pm on Thursday when a radiologist became available," Ms Bennett said.

"Following the scan, Mr Layton was found to be clear of significant injury requiring further hospitalisation."

Ms Bennett said normally an elderly person would not have been discharged at such a late hour, except at their request and in the company of their next of kin or carer.

"The hospital will fully investigate the matter of his discharge after-hours, prior to his wife being informed," she said.


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