A HUSBAND and his wife who has cancer say there were “abandoned” at Colchester Hospital after a private transport company failed to collect them.

Jennifer Hearsey, 70, of Fordham, was diagnosed with bowel cancer two years ago and she now has secondary cancer in her spine.

She has treatment at Colchester Hospital but Fordham falls under the Mid Essex NHS Trust and the hospital transport is run by the Thames Ambulance Service.

Jennifer was booked in for an MRI scan at the hospital at 6pm on Thursday, and her husband, Les, had pre-booked an ambulance to pick them up at 7.15pm to take them home.

However, the ambulance did not show.

Les said: “Jenny had been moved from a bed on to a stretcher. I called the company at 7.15pm and they said it would be another half an hour.

“I called again at about 7.55pm and they said there was no transport available.”

“You could tell by the way things were going they weren’t going to turn up.”

The MRI centre closes at 8pm but staff at the hospital stayed with Jennifer and Les until 9pm.

Les said: “Colchester Hospital staff were fantastic, they stayed with her as they didn’t want to drag her backwards and forwards.”

At 9pm Colchester Hospital used a night ambulance, which is often used to supplement emergency ambulances, to take the couple home.

Les said: “That ambulance could have been taken offline to take us home as they help wherever they are needed.

“The hospital couldn’t believe this company abandoned us.”

“My wife just shut herself down completely.”

The next day Les called Thames Ambulance Service to complain.

He said: “The guy was extremely sympathetic, I told him I had been so stressed out.

“He said it shouldn’t have happened and he said he could only apologise. I said they must have a duty of care to take us home.”

A spokesperson for TASL said an investigation was underway.

He said: “We at TASL take any feedback we receive seriously.

“Our patient experience team conducts thorough investigations into every incident reported to us and we use the outcomes of these investigations to strengthen our processes so we can avoid future re-occurrences.

“We communicate directly with the people we hear from at the start and end of our investigations, along with their local CCG.

“In respect of our patient’s privacy, we cannot give further public information about this particular investigation, but can assure our team is in touch with the patient and the investigation is underway.”