A grandfather with dementia was left wandering the streets for over FOUR HOURS – after bungling care workers left him outside the wrong address.
Barry Gutteridge, 76, was supposed to be delivered back to his care home by Arriva Transport Solutions at 3pm following a routine hospital appointment.
But when he still hadn’t arrived four hours later worried staff raised the alarm and were shocked to find out he had been left outside his former home by mistake.
Mr Gutteridge moved out of the bungalow in Braunstone, Leics., where he lived alone, in June due to his Alzheimer‘s and was transferred to Holmes House in Wigston Leics.
Luckily a psychiatric nurse spotted the retired featherweight boxer trying to get into his old bungalow and called up the care home on September 13.
The patient transport provider has apologised and launched a full investigation, but Barry’s family have demanded answers.
His daughter, Deena Goodwin, 53, of Thurmaston, Leics., said: “It was our worst nightmare.
“The care home called my sister who lives in Groby and luckily a passing social worker and psychiatric nurse had seen our dad and managed to contact the care home.
“They had found dad outside his old home in Braunstone.
“Dad was really distressed.
“He recognised the bungalow but could not understand why he couldn’t get in and wondered where all his things had gone.
“It was just awful. He has no road sense and anything could have happened to him.
“He was just dropped there after the hospital but no-one had seen him.
“The policy should be that the driver makes sure the patient goes into the property but my dad didn’t have keys so was just left on the front step.
“He told the driver it was his house and the driver, for whatever reason, took his word for it. It’s appalling. My dad was vulnerable and was left wandering the streets.”
Mr Gutteridge, who has three children and four grandchildren, moved from Braunstone to Holmes House in Wigston due to his Alzheimer’s and dementia in June.
But every month he has to attend outpatient appointments for four days running at Leicester General Hospital for an unrelated condition.
Mrs Goodwin said: “Dad has been collected and returned to the care home since June when we emptied the bungalow.
“He had lived in it for seven years so you can imagine how distressing it was for him.
“He does forget things within a few minutes but he recognised the house but obviously didn’t understand why he couldn’t get in.
“The care home has been fantastic but we are all very angry, this could have ended in tragedy.
“Dad was very unsettled for about three days, he knew something wasn’t right but thankfully he seems to have settled down a little now, but I don’t want this to happen to anyone else.”
Andrew Cullen, national head of patient transport services said: “We have been in regular contact with Mr Gutteridge’s family following this incident to apologise for the service he received as well as to assure them that we are taking this matter seriously and investigating it fully.
“Once this process is complete we will provide the family with a full report of our findings as well as any actions we have taken as a result.”