NO doctors were on duty at Townlands Hospital in Henley on Saturday, despite thousands of people
NO doctors were on duty at Townlands Hospital in Henley on Saturday, despite thousands of people descending on the town for the annual Henley Royal Regatta.
Patients needing a doctor had to travel to Reading or Abingdon.
One man was turned away when he went to the new £10million hospital because his adult daughter was suffering from a bad cough and had difficulty breathing. They had to go to the accident and emergency department at the Royal Berkshire Hospital instead. In a letter to this week’s Henley Standard, he said the Townlands staff “calmly told us there were no doctors that afternoon”.
He continued: “No one could see her, despite her coughing painfully and looking seriously ill. My daughter was told that she should call 111, which she had already done. 111 suggested my daughter should go to the nearest hospital.
“The Townlands receptionist suggested we could drive to Abingdon where she thought there might be a doctor but was not sure.” At the Royal Berks his daughter was prescribed antibiotics and she is now recovering.
The man said: “The regatta was in full swing and there were thousands of visitors in Henley that day. Was there any medical cover for them or anyone else in Henley? What happens when a dying patient arrives at Townlands on a Saturday afternoon? Is a hospital a hospital when it does not have a doctor?”
A spokesman for Oxford Health said said the lack of doctors is “under investigation” but couldn’t confirm why none were on duty on Saturday.
He said: “The trust is aware of the concerns that have been raised by a member of the public regarding the services provided at the Townlands Hospital.
“We take all complaints seriously and this matter is currently under investigation by the trust.
“Until this process has concluded it would be inappropriate for us to comment further on the specifics of this case. Oxford Health always aims to deliver the highest possible standard of care to our patients and we have a robust system in place that allows people to flag any concerns.
“We would encourage anyone with any concerns about the care they have received to contact our patient advice and liaison service team.”
The new hospital opened in March and offers services including a minor injuries unit, podiatry, outpatient services and physiotherapy and an out-of-hours GP service.
But the rapid access care unit, which replaces 14 beds at the old hospital, is still not operational as the Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group has not appointed a clinical lead.