Hip injury leaves woman stranded
A Hawke's Bay pensioner is stuck in Taranaki Base hospital with no way to get home after breaking her hip while on holiday.
Kathleen McSherry, from Havelock North, has been stranded for 10 days despite being told she would be sent home more than a week ago.
"I feel like a bag of rubbish. Nobody wants to take responsibility for dealing with me."
Mrs McSherry was on a bus tour which stopped for a few days in Hawera where she fell and broke her hip.
"I've never been to Taranaki so I thought I'd come and have a look but I haven't seen much."
She was taken to hospital and had steel plates inserted into her leg during surgery, and the tour went on without her.
Now it's getting home that's bothering her.
"I'm just being pushed around. They keep putting it off and putting it off and putting it off."
She said she was initially told an air ambulance would take her to Hastings hospital, but it never came and every plan made to get her back home has fallen through.
"I was told I was definitely going home on Sunday, but Hastings said they don't have any money."
Taranaki District Health Board spokeswoman Sue Carrington said it was up to the Hawke's Bay District Health Board to arrange transport for Mrs McSherry.
HBDHB chief operating officer Warrick Frater said like all other DHBs it complied with the National Travel Assistance policy, which was developed so there were guidelines around patient travel expenses.
"If a patient is discharged from the care of a hospital home the patient will often be required to fund their own way home either using public transport or with help of friends or family. If they are discharged back into the care of another district health board then arrangements will be made for transfer with the clinical teams input."
It is unclear at what point during her recovery Mrs McSherry would no longer have to remain in hospital, but she said she was told she would be transferred back to Hastings hospital and has still not been told otherwise. "Nobody seems to know what is happening to me."
Mrs McSherry said she had no family left in New Zealand and to ask a friend to make a 10-hour return car trip would be too much. There was also the discomfort of her injuries to consider.
She said she was also told ACC would not cover the travel costs.
As a pensioner she can't afford to pay the $252 it would cost to fly home.
Mrs McSherry doesn't know anybody from Taranaki but a woman from Hawera, sister of one of the women on the bus tour, has been visiting Mrs McSherry every few days.
"I'm getting quite homesick."
Her children are also arriving on holiday from overseas on Sunday and Mrs McSherry would like to be home to see them.
Taranaki Daily News