Man having stroke at Homerton Hospital ‘told to wait hours’ before going to A&E

John McDonagh

John McDonagh - Credit: Archant

A man who had a stroke while being screened for a sleep disorder at Homerton Hospital claims he was told he couldn’t see a doctor until the study finished – several hours later.

John McDonagh, 69, told staff he had lost feeling in his arm, leg and down the side of his face when he was booked in overnight at the hospital’s sleep apnoea screening centre on January 5, he says.

He claims he complained all night about the numbness and nausea but says a nurse – who was monitoring him with equipment on his chest – told him she couldn’t get a doctor because it was a sleep ward.

But she agreed he should go to A&E once he was discharged, he says.

Mr McDonagh of Crondal Court, St John’s Estate, told the Gazette: “I wanted to go straight away to casualty because my arm was dead, my leg was dead, and the side of my head was dead.

“It feels like your blood isn’t circulating.

“Through the night I told her I wasn’t well, and during the night I said I could do with a doctor. She said this was a sleep-in, and no doctors come here.

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“She looked like she wasn’t interested – she put me in a room and left me to sleep there for the night.

“I didn’t close my eyes because I felt so ill, and in the morning she came in and said: ‘You can go to casualty. It’s open at six’.”

Mr McDonagh had to hold on to the wall and stop repeatedly on his way there as he could not feel his limbs while walking.

As soon as Mr McDonagh was seen by a doctor in casualty he was warned there could be bleeding on his brain and rushed to the hyper-acute stroke unit at Royal London Hospital.

“I told the doctor I had been at a sleep thing last night. He said: ‘Oh my God.’ It could have been serious. I could have had a blood clot and died. That makes me feel terrible.”

A spokesman for Homerton Hospital said: “We take all issues of patient care very seriously. If this patient or his family wish to raise concerns with us we would urge them to contact the chief executive directly so we can investigate the issues they raise with us as a matter of urgency.” Mr McDonagh’s daughter said she had already filled in a complaint form.