2015年3月25日星期三

Brit tourist trapped in Benidorm hospital as NHS doesn't have a free bed for him



  • Chris Carr, 62, was taken to hospital in Benidorm with stomach pains

  • He suffered a diaphragmatic hernia - causing a huge twist in his stomach

  • He needs an operation in UK where he can receive post-operative care

  • Insurance company rang UK hospitals but were told there are no free beds

  • Mr Carr has been stuck in a Spanish hospital 11 days while they searched

  • Following campaign he will now be flown to the UK to undergo operation





Chris Carr (pictured) was visiting Benidorm as part of a four-month caravan trip with his wife when he was rushed to hospital with severe stomach pains


Chris Carr (pictured) was visiting Benidorm as part of a four-month caravan trip with his wife when he was rushed to hospital with severe stomach pains



A British tourist has been stranded in a Spanish hospital for 11 days because there were no available NHS beds available in the UK.


Retired Chris Carr, 62, from Melksham, Wiltshire, was visiting Benidorm as part of a four-month caravan trip with his wife Sally, 59, when he was rushed to hospital with severe stomach pains.


Spanish doctors found he is suffering from a diaphragmatic hernia which is causing a huge twist in his stomach, and said he needed an operation in the UK where he would get the necessary post-operative care.


But when his medical insurance company rang three hospitals near his home they were told there were no free beds.


The couple's concerned friends rallied round and launched a campaign, putting pressure on the hospitals and getting support from their local MP.


Mr Carr, who is still currently in Spain, has finally been offered a bed at the Royal United Hospital in Bath, Somerset, and is due to fly home tomorrow.


But after 11 days of not knowing, Mrs Carr, a retired NHS midwife, said: 'I feel extremely angry - I was furious when we were told about there being no beds.


'We've both worked hard all our lives and paid our taxes.


'Chris worked at the university for 35 years or more and I was a midwife for the NHS for 40 years.


'We've paid our taxes all this time and then for this to happen - I was so frustrated.'


Speaking from Spain, she added: 'We had all the proper insurance - which isn't cheap - so it should have been seamless all the way through.


'But while the care here has been brilliant, it is back in the UK where there has been all the trouble.'


Former university IT worker Mr Carr travelled to Spain with his wife as part of a four-month group trip with the Camping and Caravanning Club in January.


He began to feel unwell on February 14 after a meal out and after suffering extreme vomiting went to Hospital Marina Baixa, where he was diagnosed with food poisoning.


He returned to his caravan with tablets but when his stomach swelled to four times its normal size he returned and was instantly seen by worried doctors.



Mr Carr's insurers phoned three hospitals near his home: Bristol Royal Infirmary, Bath's Royal United Hospital and Swindon's Great Western Hospital (pictured) - but all said there were no beds available for him


Mr Carr's insurers phoned three hospitals near his home: Bristol Royal Infirmary, Bath's Royal United Hospital and Swindon's Great Western Hospital (pictured) - but all said there were no beds available for him



They diagnosed the hernia on his diaphragm which had caused his stomach to swell and twist, leaving him in agony.


Doctors told the Carrs he needed an operation to remove part - if not all - of his stomach and due to potential left-over damage and the need for top-class post-operative care, the operation should happen in the UK.


Mrs Carr said the insurers who work with the Camping and Caravanning Club phoned three hospitals near his home - Bristol Royal Infirmary, Bath's Royal United Hospital and Swindon's Great Western Hospital - but all said there were no beds free.


'We couldn't believe it,' said Sally. 'Bristol said no, Bath said no, Swindon said no.


'They said they had a duty of care to the patients they already had, and there were no beds anyway. We couldn't believe it.


'There was talk of just flying back and dumping ourselves in the nearest A and E, but we would effectively then be health tourists in our own country, and that didn't seem right.'


Friends and family launched the Get Chris Home campaign on Sunday, urging hospitals to change their mind and recruiting the support of Chippenham MP Duncan Hames.


Yesterday Mrs Carr received a call from insurers to say Bath's RUH had now changed its mind and Mr Carr is due to fly home tomorrow via air ambulance for his operation.


Mrs Carr said: 'It is thanks to the support of our friends and we are so relieved.'











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