The big day arrived at last. Off to Addenbrookes Hospital to have the cast removed. I saw a very nice specialist registrar who assured me that the break had mended and that I could now start putting full weight on the leg. Although I found I could stand I felt very shaky in terms of walking and they provided me with some gulley crutches, similar to my pulpit frame, on which I could lean, as I shuffled forward.
The trip therefore was very satisfactory apart from the transportÂ element. I was kindly picked up by ambulance -Â I am told it was service 492 – but the male attendant, who travelled with me and another stretcher patient, was very unsympathetic about my inability to raise myself from the seat. When I told him that I had MND and was unable to stand without assistance, his retort was â€˜then we will have to take you home again.â€™ and this was not said in a joking fashion. I told him that my wife and I use a lifting belt, but he said they were rubbish.
I persuaded him, and his lady driver colleague, toÂ take an arm each and once I was standing he rudely said I told you, Â you could stand implying that I have not tried hard enough. After this gentleman had wheeled me into the fracture clinic waiting room he was very offhand in his manner towards me, which was observed by the senior nurse in reception, Vicky, and theÂ osteoporosis nurse Lesley, both of whom expressed their disquiet over this manâ€™s Â conduct. I was told later, on the journey home by the same lady who had been on a stretcher on the outward journey, that the Lesley had gone out and reproached this gentleman concerning the way I had been transferred from the wheelchair to the chair and she had received a far from polite or satisfactory response . Having given Addenbrookes Hospital a glowing account for the nine days that I was an inpatient, I feel that it is not unreasonable to report this totally unacceptable behaviour. I attempted to obtain the man’s name from his manager, Jill Briggs, but she refused Â to disclose it, invitingly me instead to make a written complaint to the ambulance service.