A woman who has lived all her life in the Grantham area was appalled to be asked by a nurse at A&E if she came from abroad because she “did not look English and was not white”.
Deena Bryant, 50, of Great Gonerby, went to A&E last week with an arm injury after a fall. She is profoundly deaf and lip reads.
Ms Bryant, who is half native American Indian and was born in Grantham, said she was seen by a female member of staff who started asking her questions about where she came from.
Ms Bryant says she was horrified to be asked such questions and almost ran out of the building because she was so upset.
She told the Journal: “She interrogated me for some time. She kept asking me where are you from? And I kept saying I am from here. My family have lived here for over 600 years.
“This nurse said ‘you do not look English and you are not white’. Then she said I must check on something and that’s when I became frightened and I felt like bolting through the door.”
Ms Bryant was later seen by a male member of staff who also asked where she was from but did not persist in questioning her.
She said: “I was seen by two people who treated me like I was an immigrant when they were immigrants themselves. I should not be judged by my skin colour. I do not expect to have to take my passport with me when I go to A&E.”
Ms Bryant says she had to go to Grantham Hospital a total of five times to be treated for the injury.
She says she has since had a letter of apology from the head of A&E but she cannot forgive the nurse who ‘interrogated’ her.
Ms Bryant says she wants to see the A&E stay at Grantham and re-open 24 hours a day. She said: “I need the A&E and they have bent over backwards for me. In that week I went five times. Just think how much that would have cost me if I had had to go to Nottingham. It could be very difficult to get a train home. What would happen if we lose our A&E? Lincoln is no good to me.”
Maxine Hughes, head of operations and clinical services at United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “We are sorry to hear of Ms Bryant’s concerns. Due to patient confidentiality we cannot discuss individual patient cases. We will of course investigate the complaint and talk to Ms Bryant as soon as possible.”