IT WAS supposed to be a routine trip to the doctor’s surgery.
But mother-of-four Tracy Ashenden was rushed to hospital on a spinal board after a freak accident struck during a check-up.
The headrest of a practitioner’s bed collapsed beneath her at Milton Park Surgery, causing her to fall off the end.
After tumbling head-first between the bed and the wall, she was left crying in pain with cuts, a bitten tongue and muscular and ligament damage to her neck and back.
Mrs Ashenden, 50 from Baffins, said: ‘It was nothing short of traumatic. I only went in with a chest infection and I came out much worse off than I was before.
‘I’m not sleeping, I’m tearful and this pain never goes away. It just shouldn’t have happened.’
Tracy’s 23-year-old son Jamie accompanied her to the appointment on Monday afternoon and ran to the nurse’s room after he heard her screaming.
He said: ‘I was pretty devastated and shocked at the whole situation.
‘It was really difficult to see my mum in so much pain.
‘I was holding her hand and trying to reassure her, but I hadn’t the slightest clue what the outcome was going to be. I was scared.’
Following the incident, Jamie says the practice manager rushed into the room.
He said: ‘It was quite abrupt – it seemed like she was trying to cover her own back.
‘She said the bed broke because of the way my mum was laid on it.
‘But when the doctor came in to check her over, the nurse practitioner specifically said – in front of myself and my mum – “I’ve reported this bed recently for faults”.
‘That’s when I asked why it was not put out of use.
‘If there’s a fault with the bed, it’s not safe for anyone, let alone my family.
‘To that the practice manager replied “I have had no complaints about the bed”.’
Jamie escorted his mum to the nearby St Mary’s NHS Treatment Centre after a surgery doctor gave her pain relief and advised she ‘gets some rest’.
After being assessed by nurses at the site, Tracy was instead placed on a spinal board, given nitrous oxide and rushed to Queen Alexandra Hospital – returning home in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
Now unable to dress or wash herself, Tracy is taking antibiotics for her chest infection and codine for the injuries sustained at the surgery – which doctors say could take up to eight weeks to heal.
Signed off by doctors – Tracy, a carer – is having to take this time off work.
Asked if someone should be held accountable for the incident, Mrs Ashenden said: ‘Too right they should. It should be the ones this issue with the bed was reported to.
‘This could’ve happened to an elderly person and that makes me feel sick.’
Jamie said: ‘With the nurse practitioner explaining to myself, my mum and a doctor that the bed was reported as faulty, there is some sort of formality that needs to be looked into. Someone does need to be made accountable.’
While The News reached out to Milton Park Surgery for a response, the practice said it was unable to comment because of its ‘duty of confidentiality’ to all of its service users.