Ipswich: Why was a war hero treated like this?

Rod Gray waiting in A&E on Friday afternoon

Rod Gray waiting in A&E on Friday afternoon - Credit: Contributed

SITTING in his pyjamas and covered in blood, a 94-year-old war hero was left waiting in a wheelchair at Ipswich Hospital’s emergency department, for five hours his angry family has told The Star.

Mr Gray, who served in the far east for the Suffolk Regiment during the Second World War, split his head open after falling at home in Renfrew Road on Friday afternoon.

After being taken by ambulance to the hospital, he was seen by a nurse but then left in the public waiting area, wearing just his pyjamas and dressing gown.

Until his stepson Carl Puiy and stepdaughter Sandra Murty arrived, the war veteran was left alone, desperate for the toilet and in distress.

It is understood Mr Gray, who was awarded a Burma Star for serving in the Second World War, was only moved to a public area when an emergency case came into the department during an “exceptionally busy” period.

Mr Puiy, a retired police officer with Suffolk police, told The Star: “He was on his own with pyjamas and a dressing gown on.

“It was not very dignified, there was blood all over him, they hadn’t even cleaned him up.

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“We asked what was going on and were told he needed to see a doctor.

“He was asking to go home because he wanted to lie down, he was so uncomfortable and said he felt humiliated.

“At 8.20pm we were told he was next to be seen.

“I do understand they were very busy and had emergency cases to see but the problem seemed to be administrative staff on the front desk who didn’t seem to be doing anything to check if a doctor could see my 94-year-old stepfather.

“By 10pm he still hadn’t been seen. We had to take him home, he was so distressed and uncomfortable, all he wanted to do was lie down.

“When we lifted him out of the wheelchair his legs had gone numb and they gave way from under him.

“I am absolutely fuming, I understand all the pressures they must face in such a busy department.

“But I have worked in the public sector myself and I can’t believe a 94-year-old man could be left in a wheelchair in his pyjamas.

“It is a complete lack of dignity for someone who has fought for his country.

“They couldn’t even find him somewhere to lie down and it seems the NHS is so inflexible that they couldn’t get a doctor from the out-of-hours service to see him. “It is a very basic lack of care and awareness.”

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