A FORMAL investigation has been launched after a Colchester woman slammed the "disgusting way" she was treated while trying to get help at Colchester Hospital. 

Amanda Richardson, 55, was taken to the hospital, in Turner Road, with chest pains and breathing problems, where she was initially diagnosed with COPD.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, refers to a group of diseases that cause airflow blockage and breathing-related problems.

Mrs Richardson had to stay at the hospital overnight before being discharged and told she could live a normal life if she received a nebuliser and went on steroids.

Echo: Ordeal - Colchester Hospital patient Amanda Richardson, 55Ordeal - Colchester Hospital patient Amanda Richardson, 55 (Image: Public)
The hospital said it could not provide Mrs Richardson with the equipment and directed her to get help from her GP.

However, when she asked her GP surgery she was told they do not provide nebulisers. 

Mrs Richardson said: "I spent all day going back and forwards trying to get a nebuliser.

"I then also got a call from the respiratory nurse and she told me I have borderline emphysema in my lungs.

"This is a serious lung condition and I burst into tears as this was news to me and quite a shock.

"It was so distressing and upsetting."

Emphysema is one of the diseases that comprises COPD, it develops over time and involves the gradual damage of lung tissue, specifically the destruction of the alveoli.

Mrs Richardson said: "I am so poorly, I have been treated in a shambolic and disgusting way."

Mrs Richardson says she has been bedridden for days. 

She said: "I still have no nebuliser and I cannot afford to buy one.

"I'm very poorly indeed and nobody should have to go through that ordeal.

"I have to speak out for the people who do have their wits about them but also those who don't and who will get shrugged off by the hospital."

Dr Martin Mansfield, deputy chief medical officer at East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We were very concerned to hear about the issues raised by Mrs Richardson.

"A formal investigation is underway, and we will involve her fully with our review and findings once that investigation is complete.”