A 62-YEAR-OLD hospital patient was discharged in the middle of the night and claims he was told he would have to walk 23 miles home.
Peter Rees was admitted to the accident and emergency unit by ambulance after suffering from breathing difficulties.
Doctors diagnosed a chest infection, prescribed strong antibiotics and told him he could go home at 2am.
Father-of-three Peter asked for help with transport because he had arrived in hospital without his wallet due to his emergency admission.
He said he explained he lived 23 miles away and there was no-one at home able to collect him. But he claimed he was told to leave the hospital at 2am on New Year's Day.
Peter set off on foot and walked 12 miles before he was given a lift by a passing police car — arriving home at 6.30am.
He said: "It was dreadful — the most horrible night of my life. I had dark clothing on, I was feeling most unwell and I had to walk on unlit roads on one of the most dangerous nights of the year."
Peter, who spent a week in bed, has made an official complaint to Glangwili Hospital in Carmarthen, which he claimed sent him packing.
Peter was at home in the village of Llanwrda, near Llandeilo, on December 31 when he was hit by a bout of uncontrollable coughing and shortness of breath.
He was examined by a paramedic at home who called for an ambulance to admit him to hospital. But after X-rays, blood tests and an examination he was told he could go home.
Peter said: "They told me I had a chest infection and released me with a course of strong antibiotics."
Peter, who has worked in the film and advertising industry, trudged for 10 miles in the pitch dark before a passing police car stopped him.
He said: "The officers urged me not to walk any further because it was too dangerous, but I had no choice.
"I was literally clinging on to bramble bushes as I edged along the hedgerow in the face of oncoming traffic. I was shattered, freezing, I felt giddy and I lost my footing more than once."
Peter walked a further two miles before a second police car picked him up and drove him home. Mr Rees, who lives with his partner Annie, has instructed solicitors to sue the hospital for allegedly failing in their duty of care.
A spokesman for Hywel Dda Health Board, which runs the hospital, said: "We regret to hear about the situation Mr Rees found himself in on New Year's Day. The board has now received a formal complaint and, as the investigation is ongoing.
"We cannot comment further at this time.
"We'd like to reassure the public that there are a range of transport schemes in place, or being piloted, for patients who require assistance with non-emergency transportation."