5:00am Monday 7th April 2014
By Samantha Harman
A CANCER patient says he was forced to dial 999 to get help – from his hospital bed.
Peter Tizzard, who was staying at Dorset County Hospital, says he shouted out and rang his call bell when his pain became ‘extreme’ and a drip began to overflow, soaking him in cold liquid.
The 73-year-old, who has prostate cancer, says that he thought dialling the emergency number was his ‘only chance of help’ when no one came to his aid.
Mr Tizzard, from Weymouth said: “I kept shouting but no one was coming,” he said.
“I don’t know how long I was shouting for.
“I thought, ‘What am I going to do?’ “Calling 999 was the only way someone was coming to help me.”
Mr Tizzard says he had also been left ‘stranded’ on a commode earlier the same day.
Wife Maureen, also 73, said she entered the ward to visit Mr Tizzard at around 8am and could ‘hear him shouting out’ from his room. She said: “He was sat on the commode, out of his bed with hardly anything on, shouting out for someone to come and help and he was in so much pain.
“Even if staff were tied up you would have thought someone could go and say, ‘I’ll be with you in a minute’.”
The couple have praised the workers that they have come into contact with during Mr Tizzard’s illness but say there aren’t enough members of staff to cope with demand.
Mrs Tizzard said that when nurses have attended her husband they have been ‘kind and helpful’.
Mr Tizzard added: “I think the chief executive Jean O’Callaghan has done a wonderful job.
“All the nursing staff, the doctors, have all been wonderful too.
“They just don’t have enough staff.
“They’re run ragged.”
Mr Tizzard added: “There might be four nursing staff and I would say they are having to look after between 28 and 34 people.
“How can you expect them to be able to do that?”
He said during various trips to the hospital he had been treated by members of staff who had to come from Bournemouth to cover. The incident happened on Friday, March 29.
A spokesman for Dorset County Hospital said: “There was not an issue with staffing on Lulworth Ward that day.
“We understand that Mr Tizzard felt the ward was very busy and believed it would help ward staff if he called 999.
“The matron and ward sister both met with Mr Tizzard and ensured he was able to contact them directly if he felt he was not being attended to promptly enough. All patients do have call bells if they require attention.”
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