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Medway hospital sorry over failure to tell son his mum had caught Covid

A disabled man has been left living in fear after his bed-bound mum returned home from hospital with Covid.

The first Christopher Allen knew of the diagnosis was when an ambulance crew dropped off 85-year-old Marina Bharma on Friday morning.

Gillingham resident Marina Bharma was sent home from hospital with Covid but her son was not told she had the virus
Gillingham resident Marina Bharma was sent home from hospital with Covid but her son was not told she had the virus

She was admitted to Medway Maritime Hospital, Gillingham, three weeks ago with gallstone issues.

Mr Allen says his mother contracted the virus while on Pembroke ward but nobody told him or her that tests had come back positive.

The former painter and decorator is now scared of catching the illness himself as he has lung disease and is diabetic.

He said: "The ambulance crew dropped her off and asked whether I had mask because she'd tested positive. I was shocked because I hadn't been informed."

Mrs Bharma, who suffered a stoke after an operation went wrong at a hospital in Cambridge two years ago, has a dry cough and a sore throat.

Medway Maritime, Windmill Road, Gillingham
Medway Maritime, Windmill Road, Gillingham

Mr Allen had to give up work because of his illnesses and is fearful his mum's condition could get worse and he could get it.

He added: "It's just the most stupid thing to send her home to me when she should still be in hospital being cared for."

He also worries that carers who come in daily to help, will refuse through fear they'll get the virus.

James Devine, chief executive at Medway NHS Foundation Trust, said: “I’m sorry for the error in communicating Mrs Bharma’s status to her family; this should have been done by a member of trust staff and not the ambulance team.

"We are in touch with Mrs Bharma and her family and we are looking into how this happened.

“We only discharge patients when they are well enough to go home; this includes patients who have coronavirus but do not require hospital treatment for it.

Trust chief executive James Devine
Trust chief executive James Devine

"This is in line with national guidance and has been standard practice for the NHS throughout the pandemic; unfortunately we are not able to provide beds for patients who do not require hospital care.”

Yesterday we reported how a Frindsbury mum had praised hospital staff for saving her life after she fell seriously ill on Christmas Day.

For the latest coronavirus news and advice, click here.

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