Hywel Dda health board says it is reviewing policy after a Pembrokeshire Covid patient was sent home from hospital in a taxi with a driver who was unaware she had the virus.

Naomi Grant was rushed to A&E last month when she became very ill with Covid and a chest infection.

She says her stay was traumatic; she was given medication she was allergic to and spent hours vomiting. She also says that medical staff also came to her without full PPE, having not been told of her Covid status.

Naomi wanted to stay in hospital; she was coughing up red and black phlegm, she has had two cases of pneumonia before and is disabled with no stairlift at home.

However, she was discharged at 1.30am but had no way to get home, so hospital staff called her a taxi.

She says that initially hospital staff told her it was not necessary for them to tell the driver that she had Covid as it was ‘confidential.

“My reply was ' what if he's old or if he's vulnerable or his family gets ill' I told them that they had to tell the taxi driver the real situation, as I did not want to get into his taxi if he was unaware,” said Naomi.

She says that she was then led to believe that the driver had been made aware that she had Covid. However, when she was travelling in the taxi, she checked this with the driver, who said that he hadn’t been told.

“I am truly shocked and disgusted with how I was handled and how myself and the poor taxi driver were deceived,” said Naomi.

“I just hope they haven't been sending lots of covid patients home in public transport. It's no wonder why it's spreading so fast. If you can't trust the doctors, who can you trust?”

Naomi was later diagnosed with Covid pneumonia but not until her daughter had managed to chase up her notes from the hospital and get them sent to her GP.

She added that she is still very ill and her blood oxygen levels are low but she is scared to go back to hospital after her experience.

Mandy Rayani director of nursing, quality and patient experience at Hywel Dda University Health Board said there had been a ‘communication breakdown’ and the trust was reviewing its policies.

“In the circumstance where a patient, confirmed or otherwise with Covid-19, does not need hospital admission but needs an essential journey home and has no alternative way of getting there, our staff may put them in touch with a local taxi firm.

“It is expected, and we ask all firms, to ensure they are following guidance set out by the Welsh Government and have risk assessed the situation themselves.

“In this incidence, it seems there has been a communication breakdown. As a result, we are now reviewing the situation and developing guidance with our local public health team, local authorities and transport providers, to confirm a process for the rare circumstance of essential journey home for a Covid-19 positive patient.

“Our Emergency Department staff work in environments which are highly pressured, but they make decisions and offer support in the best interests of their patients.”

Hywel Dda also said it encouraged Naomi to talk to its Patient Support Services team about her experience.