Blind patient who became trapped in Croydon University Hospital toilet slams "diabolical" care
A blind patient with severe health problems was forced to grope his way to the toilet while in hospital because there were no nurses to help him.
John Allan, 72, was later found doubled up in pain in the toilet in Croydon University Hospital by his wife after suffering an angina attack, with his cries for help unheard by hospital staff.
Mr Allan and wife Heather, 69, from Sanderstead, are now demanding an apology for "diabolical" care that they claim could have left him dead.
An investigation has been launched by the hospital into the care he recieved.
Mr Allan, who is completely blind and was in hospital for tests to determine if he had bowel cancer, had to be directed to the toilet by a bed-ridden patient in the same ward because no staff responded to his buzzer.
He soiled himself before reaching the toilet, where he then became trapped because he could not find the emergency cord.
He was there for nearly 30 minutes until Mrs Allen arrived at hospital and was alerted to his cries by another patient.
The couple also say Mr Allan - who has previously suffered nine heart attacks and has diabetes, heart disease and asthma - was refused oxygen to alleviate his angina pain and did not have his blood sugar levels properly monitored.
He risks slipping into a coma if his sugar levels fall too low.
Mrs Allen said: "To expect a blind man to find his way around somewhere that he is not familiar is diabolical. There were hazards he could have tripped over. He is immobile, blind and has severe balance problems.
"It was barbaric in there. The ward was dirty, untidy, cluttered and no one helped him to do anything.
"You expect your relatives to be safe in a hospital because they are supposed to care for sick people but if he had been in there any longer I don't think he would have come out."
Mr Allan, who ran a cleaning company with his wife before retirement, said: "What annoys me most is I've managed by diabetes with my wife's help for 40 year and I know what I'm doing. I also know when I need oxygen."
A spokeswoman for Croydon NHS Trust said: "We are very sorry to learn that Mr Allan and his family have concerns about his recent hospital stay.
"We understand that the family has made a formal complaint and the ward sister and matron are looking into what happened and why and will be talking to the family.
"Until we have done this we cannot comment publicly.