A HEART attack patient’s botched transfer between two Oxfordshire hospitals has been branded a ‘disgrace’ by local health campaigners.

Colin Hewitt was forced to take a late-night taxi alone from the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford to the Horton General in Banbury just hours after having a heart operation on March 28.

Mr Hewitt, of Clifton, said he was just ‘glad to have survived’ after then having to find his own way through the hospital to his recovery ward, carrying his own bags up a number of flights of stairs and through empty corridors.

As reported in the Oxford Mail last week, the 72-year-old has since written a letter to local health chiefs as well as health secretary Jeremy Hunt calling for an immediate investigation into the matter.

Now campaign group Keep the Horton General (KTHG) have echoed Mr Hewitt’s calls for change saying ‘something must be done’ in an effort to ensure the same, or worse fate does not fall on others.

Chairman of KTHG Keith Strangwood said: “The incident involving Mr Hewitt is a disgrace.

“We are the sixth largest economy in the world and our tax payers and needy have to endure this sort of treatment.

“I found myself in another out of county hospital last Saturday, with a poorly mother.

“The same sort of under investment in staff and infrastructure was also evident.

“It’s time something was done about this situation.

“We must not see a repeat of Mr Hewitt’s traumatic experience.”

Chair of Patient Voice Oxford branch, Jacqui Pearce-Gervis also backed Mr Hewitt’s call for the investigation.

She said: “This is a very unfortunate set of circumstances and easily could have been much, much worse.

“Action must be taken to avoid this happening again and we strongly back Mr Hewitt’s calls for an investigation.”

Speaking to the Oxford Mail last week, Mr Hewitt praised the majority of staff who had cared for him following his heart attack, largely reserving his damning comments for the senior management at OUH.

He said: “By writing this letter I’m hoping that it helps to put things right as far as this sort of bureaucracy is concerned.

“I’m hoping it leads to some form of change that the management can make.

“I’m hoping that through this nobody else is going to suffer the same sort of problems because it could have been far worse.”

Oxfordshire University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said it had launched an urgent investigation into the incident.

A spokesperson for OUH said: “We are grateful to Mr Hewitt for his positive comments about the ‘care and professionalism’ of the clinical staff who cared for him during his recent treatment at the Horton General Hospital in Banbury and the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.

“We are very concerned by the complaints raised by Mr Hewitt about other aspects of his experience in our hospitals.

“The issues which he has highlighted in his letter are extremely concerning and we are investigating them as a matter of urgency.”