STRENGTH IN NUMBERS

Strength in Numbers dedicated to my late mother Kay

ALL YOUR STORIES – STRENGTH IN NUMBERS

Donna Submitted on 04/02/2016

Dear Joanna,

My name is Donna. I felt every second of your mother’s ordeal I have been there just so  very recently. Trust me your mom went through hell on earth she is now in heaven with your dad.

I was having my second hip replacement on my right hip this time I had my first replacement on my left hip six months prior. To do the readers digest version right hip not so well. They did 3 hip replacements within 8 weeks. My hip went out 7 times. There is nothing more special seeing your surgeon flipping a sheet around to yank your hip back into place. Your meds they give you don’t kick in for this unreal pain until you pass out for the yank on your leg. My lose of blood was such that after the 3rd surgery they began giving me transfusions of blood 3 units back to back because my pressure dropped below 54. God only knows what the bottom was I couldn’t hear. Dignity nonexistent care for hair care none. I have arthritis and I am 67 years old years, before I had two steel rods up my spine, tell me the doctor didn’t take that into consideration. I had all the CAT and MRI scans. Sorry to bring up sad times but everything you say is true. And no not good I just want to melt away when my one and only 1 year old grandson lifts his arms for me to pick him up and I can’t. God bless you and you family

*****

Lisa Smith Submitted on 14/12/2015

Well it’s been emotional few week of watching my dear dad be neglected time after time since making a complaint at his care home , dad was severely overdosed on pregablin he was prescribed 50mg within a week it was increased to 450mg which resulted in him having a fall on the 29.10.2015, he never received any medical attention until on the 31.10.15, he was found unresponsive in his room with a suspected bleed on the brain.

Lucky it was but we found out he was severely overdosed, but now there is no evidence to who did this on medical records and care plans. Since putting the complaint in this neglect has got worst.  Apparently after four years he as become aggressive and needs 1.1 care 24 7 and 2.1 personal care bathing despite him able to dress and undress himself, has no incontinence problems and can even shave himself. He has no mobility problems and goes out on a regular basis.

The home are now stating since complaining he needs EMI care that they can’t provide last week we took him out and on returning home he had no underwear on. How if he needs 1.1 care has this happened? The day after we found him not walking very well on checking we found he had someone else’s socks on that were too small effecting circulation in his feet and legs. On Thurs last week he wasn’t well, my mum stopped the night at the home with him after being concerned. Early hours on Friday morning he was taken to hospital suffering a heart attack , on returning to the home not one member of staff asked how he was. We explained he had heart attack and told them he had warfarin and asprin, do not shave him. No compassion shown at all, the day after I get a call there been a incident. Staff was shaving him, no information regarding this was logged in his care plan, staff wasn’t aware, and now today I’ve just found out he’s been in the same clothes for 3 days.

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Colette Dear Submitted on 13/12/2015

My story concerns my elderly mother of 86. It happened on the 20/01/2014.
My mum was a patient in West Middlesex hospital Isleworth suffering with pneumonia, she was being hoisted onto a air mattress.
Six nursing staff were present with her during this process, unfortunately this did not prevent my mum from receiving a black eye, it looked like she had just stepped out of a boxing ring. I immediately phoned the police and took photos.
I did everything I could to get answers, meetings with PALS and different titled staff members in the hospital, I even got the NHS OMBUDSMEN involved hoping they would be able to get some answers for me. Their conclusion amounted to just an unfortunate accident.
To this day I am still full of anger and disbelief that there has been no one to help me.
I believe if my mum was forty years younger it might have been a different story.

*****

Caroline Tully Submitted on 21/08/2015

Caroline Tully shares the story of her daughter Clara, who died shortly after birth.

In March 2014, at 37+1, I went into labour with our first daughter Clara. My waters didn’t break but we waited until my contractions were 2 minutes apart before setting off to the hospital. On arrival basic checks were carried out and we were advised to go home as labour with your first baby can take up to 24 hours. My daughter’s heartbeat was listened to once.

We were concerned and recorded the increasing frequency and length of each contraction ourselves. We did not feel we were listened to. We said that we didn’t want to be sent home but the midwife was determined she knew best and it took us 25 minutes to struggle back to the car. Within an hour we were back at the hospital and our daughter was born within minutes.

There was no sound from Clara after she was born and emergency procedures were then followed. We were told after 30 minutes that resuscitation was unsuccessful and that Clara had been stillborn.

We were advised later by hospital staff that Clara’s death was “just one of those things”. At this point we were not aware that the hospital had issued a Safety Alert after Clara’s death to encourage CTG monitoring for all mothers presenting in labour until an investigation had been carried out.

External investigations revealed that I had been incorrectly classed as ‘low risk’ and placed under ‘midwifery-led care’ from the beginning; this inaccurate risk assessment remained throughout my pregnancy and assessment whilst in labour.

Some of the other failures identified were:

  • Family history of sister having pre-eclampsia that had not been taken into account
  • Lack of continuity of care; we only saw the same midwife once
  • Incorrect gestational calculations
  • Inability of community midwives to access IT systems
  • Failure to follow-up on hospital tests when a midwife suspected pre-eclampsia at 34 weeks
  • Inappropriate discharge when presenting in labour
  • Delay of 25 days in counselling being offered
  • Delay introducing GROW charts

Following my own investigations I found records made by 5 different staff members referencing hearing a heartbeat immediately before delivery and a faint heartbeat 28 minutes into resuscitation. This prompted the chief coroner to approve an inquest to be held by the coroner’s office, which revealed more failings and concluded Clara had indeed been born alive. The coroner’s inquest, we believe, prompted quick action to meet recommendations made by other investigations.

There were 9 other unexpected deaths within the maternity department prompting a review to be commissioned by the Trust and conducted by the RCOG. I am relieved to say the hospital has been deemed safe by the RCOG and improvements have also been confirmed by the coroner.

As a family we are devastated that there were many missed opportunities at various points in my pregnancy and labour that could have saved Clara’s life. I will never get to see my daughter grow and flourish in life, but I am determined her short existence will count towards positive changes by way of highlighting the importance of coroner’s inquests and works done by charities such as the ‘Campaign for Safer Births’.

I believe the Each Baby Counts project to be essential in raising awareness and working towards ensuring avoidable deaths are minimised. I worry as a country we lean too much towards midwifery-led care without having the resources, adequate cross-training in all areas of midwifery and directional support that is provided by obstetricians. The more knowledge that is gained through identifying possible care issues, the faster these issues can be addressed and lives saved.

Grandparents count too

Marie Kemp, Clara’s grandmother, shares her story.

I am Clara’s Nanna. I grieve for my daughter Caroline’s loss and also grieve for the loss of my grandchild. I try to be strong for Caroline and am very proud of what she has achieved in the wake of Clara’s passing, but still struggle with my own pain. I have still not got over the shock of losing Clara and I doubt I ever will. Whenever I see my other grandchildren I am reminded that one of them is missing.

I still have flashbacks of the phone call from Caroline in March 2014, telling me that she had lost Clara. I remember the hushed ward, the midwives who could not face us, the consultant’s tone of voice and the little body wrapped in a shawl. It’s still surreal.

I myself lost a baby called Charlotte aged three weeks in 1991 due to Patau’s Syndrome. I believe I received better care and counselling from the NHS before her birth and afterwards than Caroline had in 2014. Losing Clara seemed to be far more shocking for me than losing Charlotte due to the mistakes made in Caroline’s care. I think some midwives are tending to ignore expectant mother’s concerns. After all, even a first time mother listens to what her body is telling her.

My experience with our local hospital has taught me that grandparents and family feelings are being ignored. Empty condolences mean nothing when a family is shocked and bewildered.

I believe the Each Baby Counts campaign is a fantastic idea. Stillbirth and baby death has traditionally been a taboo subject, hidden under a blanket of secrecy. This needs to change. The RCOG will now be able to offer help to pinpoint where maternity services need assistance.

Unfortunately this has come too late for my granddaughter Clara but I know she has played a part in making this happen. To know that this little lost girl, with her Daddy’s snub nose and her Mummy’s lips has made a difference provides me with some comfort. She is, and always will be Nanna and Granddad’s grandchild number 4.

*****

Robert Bird Submitted on 19/05/2015

Robert Bird’s Son Garry Bird’s Seven Year History of Atrocious Care Under the NHS.

Continual Negligence that neither the NHS, the GMC, the PHSO or the CQC have done anything about at all despite all Robert Birds Efforts.

You will see that his son lost 90% of his bowel due to gross negligence and lack of any basic care. Care plans not been adhered to. Error upon Error has been made by the NHS. Zero actions have been taken against one NHS Member of Staff Stopped from obtaining Private Care Incorrectly sectioned & treated Solicitors not done what they have been paid to do. This nightmare is still continuing to this day and Robert’s family have now been stopped from knowing what is happening or even where is son is.

Please continue to read by clicking on the PDF below to read the full story.

Mine and my families NHS history FINAL

*****

Ms Rosalind Brewer and Ms Marilyn Ealy Submitted on 15/04/2015

Our account of the appalling lack of duty of care and the terrible death of our mother on unauthorised LCP. Who died on 14 June 2013

Dear Sir/Madam

We’re writing to you to make a complaint about the lack of care, attention, compassion, and appalling communications received from the staff at Frimley Park Hospital to both our Mother and ourselves, and the circumstances that led to our Mother’s recent death.

Before our Mother Mrs Gerda Ealy (who was 88) was admitted into Frimley Park Hospital, and before the media announced the abuse of the Liverpool Care Pathway, we already feared the outcome of our Mother’s admission into hospital. We also expressed our concerns to the ambulance drivers and staff at A&E.

Our Mother was not terminally ill, but was elderly and as a result of this we feel it underlines the fact that she was targeted by putting her on LCP in order to hasten her death.

Please continue to read by clicking on the PDF below to read the full story. It will surely shock you. The family want justice.

OUR ACCOUNT – COMPLAINT OF THE LACK OF CARE OF OUR MOTHER WITHOUT NAME

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Toni Submitted on 26/03/2015

My dad is called bernard benton and he is bed bound with multiple co morbidities. He is 87 yrs old and is cared for at home by myself Toni Curry his daughter.

Due to dads illnesses the gp back in January 2015 thought it would be of no benefit to dad to send him back into hospital for treatment. I reserved the right to disagree at any point as it all depended on dads views at the end of the day. The devision woukd have to lie with him to refuse any treatment. As with all elderly people when suffering an infection, they then can become confused and disorientated with fluctuating capacity. This is no different for my father.

As of January and February this year in two discussions with gp around the area of whether to treat dad or not or allow him to die, on both occassions the gp had agreed to treat dad orally with medication until he was not able to swallow anymore. But as of monday 23rd march 2015, during a DST meeting at my home where dad resides. The chair representative for stockton PCT and representatives from billingham district nurses decided that our agreement with the GP to treat dad orally with medications, but not send dad into hospital, with a reservation to review this at any point if dad where to become too ill etc that they believed this was wrong and did not offer them any clarity when marking there ticky boxes when deciding whether or not dad should receive continuing health care.

End result was yes in one hand they decided to give dad chc for 12 wks but in the other hand it came at a huge cost. I was then questioned as to what are my views on just keeping dad comfortable and no longer treating him? And before i could reply the chair of the PCT stated as your dad has no quality of life and is in distress and you have no quality of life and are living in distress also. I was dumbfounded then replied you are not god and neither am I. Dad will die when he is good and ready and not before hand. I also stressed to them present that if i took there attitude towards life my daughters who where born prematurely and have disabilities would of died in the neonatal as i wouldnt of fought for them to survive. I further stated that if they decided to push for that clear cut decision then they would have a fight on there hands and i was then told that that was a fight i would have to face. I was mortified. Then yes yesterday 25th march i got call from gp surgery wanting to meet today 26th march at 12.30 to discuss dads medication and to put a plan in place etc and that meeting should last about 20 mins. Dad at present is poorly so ongoing treatment is essential hence I had to ask dad his current opinions which you see in the video expressing then stating My names Bernard Benton and I need the right to live, I need treatment.

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Mark Submitted on 16/02/2015

My mother is a strong Catholic, is capable of eating, and said has expressed her desire to live, and that the forced palliative care is against her faith. Pinetum Nursing home has been removing food and drinks from my mother in order to stop her from recovering. This is a gross abuse of a patient that they are supposed to be trying to help get better.

I Dr Mark Jones state the following is true and as my human rights I have the right to state the following…

I write this as I am very upset (14 Feb 2015 Saturday).
I found out the following:
1) I was told on Monday 9 Feb 2015
by Lee Calvert of Chester Social Services and Pinetum nursing home “There was a hospital multi disciplined team who decided to put my mother on a fast track Palliative care route” (not food or drink!)

2) The email from the Hospital (14 Feb 2015) states the hospital made no such decision. I received this email after a lot of work and most people would never have found this out without the “I am Dr M Jones…this is my mother”.

3) The Fast track Palliative care route decision was done in Pinetum nursing home with their doctor!

4) The Pinetum nursing home and their doctor know my mother is strong Catholic and wants to live and see her grand children.

5) I was not involved in this decision for my mother and I should have been.
This is strange as it must have been planned before my mother was ill as the doctor I spoke to at the hospital said my mother was stable and could get better.
So did the nursing home and its doctor have this as a plan they use when ever patients get ill and chance it..to get rid of the patients ? To reduce cost of the nursing home?
Before my mother became ill I noticed on my electronic thermometer my mothers room was always cold at night and not the rest of the nursing home.
This would of led to her becoming ill.

6) My mother could improve and this was ignored by the nursing home.

7) I was told my mother could not eat or drink by the nursing home staff, but when I saw her she nod her head to say she wanted food and drink. Then I saw her eat as she was starving. Her eyes were focusing and tracking. She could clearly think.
Her wishes were clear on Thursday (12 Feb) that she wants to live and was improving.
I was nearly in tears as I could see my mother could get better…

8) Then later after seeing my mother on Thursday 12 of February Lee Calvert was told by the nursing home then to stop me seeing my mother.
The reason given makes no sense to me or other doctors.
9) I put forward on many occasions I saw residence with issues at this nursing home that could have been stopped but and their death could be seen as natural causes by the nursing home’s doctor who needs investigation now and removed from my mother.
10) Police can not do any thing. I called social services and then Lee Calvert said I could not see my own mother even if she was dying.
Then I saw priest and he had already seen my mother for last right on the 12 Feb.
I called Lee Calvert Again and once again told I could not see my mother and told when she dies they will contact me!!
Tried CQC and they are closed on Saturday and Sunday. CQC are not fit for purpose as stated by government enquiry.

Please pass to your MP and press as soon as possible…thank you..
Please help by passing this on to everyone….press, friends etc and ask them to help. Thank you…

My mother is on Palliative care due to a lie to hide the mistakes of a nursing home. Questions need to be asked in Government in order to save lives.
I, Dr Mark Jones Fellow of The Royal Society of Medicine, need the following to be put into the public domain. Questions need to be asked in Government in order to save lives.

During my mother’s “Mavis Banks” stay at Pinetum Nursing Home I have been made aware of and personally witnessed some very disturbing neglect of care in regards to her health. Because of this horrible lack of proper treatment I am requesting that an external investigation be made to insure that she is safe. It is my deepest concern that the neglect on the part of the staff at Pinetum will lead to an untimely and premature death of my mother as well as any other patients they may not be caring for properly. Unfortunately, police are not able to look into this and the CQC needs to be able to investigate these kinds of matters.

Pinetum Nursing Home has blatantly hid the fact that it is short staffed at night as it takes patients from the Chester Hospital. In my opinion this is big business lying to cover up suffering that I have seen with my own eyes. I’ve witnessed my mother at night without adequate support as the staff in the nursing home were seemingly too busy working on patients from the hospital to get to her. Understaffed medical facilities are dangerous and it should be addressed immediately. Upon my expressing my concern, the nursing home staff responded by imposing a DOLS(Deprivation of Liberties from Chester City Council see ) order on me stating that I can no longer see my mother at night in an effort to hide their own inconsideration for patient care. The DOLS which they issued is clearly riddled with lies and misinformation which I can prove. Without my being there to provide my support my mother will surely deteriorate which the staff seems to not be concerned with at all. I now have my hand pulled away from my mother who wants to hold onto me. I have left my mother in the past in tears as I am forced away from my mother by restricted times of just 3 times a week due to Chester Social Services. I was threatened that if I said anything wrong about the nursing home that I would not be allowed to see my mother. (see Lee.Calvert@cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk Who I have no confidence in or anyone else in this department of cover ups).
Below I have listed several occurrences that display patient abuse and neglect that have happened since my mother has been in the care of Pinetum Nursing Home.

My mother was originally admitted to the hospital due to a case of pneumonia and dehydration. This is the third time this has happened. On the 10th of February 2015 I witnessed my mother successfully being fed with no issues. She consumed an entire bowl of food and was nodding and communicating that she was happy with my presence. Then I went back the next day on the 11th of February 2015 to see my mother and the staff falsely claimed she had refused food and was incapable of eating. When I requested food from the staff my mother was present and clearly stated that she was hungry. Finally, after persistent insistence on the staff bringing food, they complied, and she ate an entire bowl of yogurt and experienced no problems. The following day I was informed that I could not see my mother until Monday the 16th of February which is four days where they will not feed my mother. This is homicide! It is unacceptable and needs to be stopped immediately.

My mother is a strong Catholic, is capable of eating, and said has expressed her desire to live, and that the forced palliative care is against her faith. Pinetum Nursing home has been removing food and drinks from my mother in order to stop her from recovering. This is a gross abuse of a patient that they are supposed to be trying to help get better. To reiterate, as a strong Catholic, my mother has made her wishes to do everything that she can to fight and live explicitly clear to me on 12 February 2015. I asked her if she wanted to live and she nodded to confirm. I asked if she wanted food and she said yes. Personally, I can see no medical reason for them removing sustenance from her other than to accelerate her death. This establishment seems to completely disregard a patients wishes. They even imposed a DNR(Do Not Resuscitate) on my mother without her consent. When I questioned this matter somehow the DNR magically vanished and was buried.

There was another incident in which my mother reported twice she had been hit in the care home and the complaint procedure never was done.
It is my intention with this letter to create enough reasonable concern to incite an investigation into Chester Social Services, Pinetum Nursing Home, and Chester Hospital. Their forced palliative care for my mother is against both mine and her wishes and for this reason I request unrestricted access to my mother as I have no trust in the above establishments. There is no reason why that with the right care my mother cannot improve, and if she did she would validate my claims that she is being held against her will. I have had the support from other MPs in all parties who wish to help. They say that my MP should do more, but he has done nothing to change the situation.

I want results and I want action. If asked of me, I have all of the evidence needed in order to substantiate these claims in the form of witnesses as well as photographs/videos. The disregard that these establishments are showing for their patients are cruel and must be stopped!

Sincerely,
Mark,
Dr M Jones.
Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine.
Fellow of Chelsea and Westminster Hospital.
Fellow of NESTA.
Alumnae of London Business School.
mark@myvibe.net

Tel (44) 077 355 75 011

*****

Tina Submitted on 21/01/2015

My dad died as a result of the hospital failing him his insulin for 16 days.
He was admitted into hospital with a swollen arm, high blood pressure and slurred speech. The hospital ignored everything and concentrated on his swollen arm. Speech and language were even called for because he was chocking on fluids, and still no one bothered to check him for a stroke. They even discharged for rehab for his mobility. He was later found on the floor by nurses who just placed him back to bed. Two days later I got him back into A&E, after demanding an ambulance. He had suffered a massive stroke and a brain bleed.
Hospital records obtained clearly show he wasn’t seen by a diabetic nurse or given his insulin even though A&E wrote on his notes diabetic on insulin.
I believe he was admitted with a stroke which was ignored by doctors. And two weeks of no insulin a further massive stroke occured creating the brain bleed when he collapsed and placed back to bed for a further two days. He died 10 days later in agony. A serious incident investigation is ongoing with the hospital. But what will I get. An apology and lessons learnt – not really justice for killing someone is it??
Where is the support for people like us?? Who is there to support us?
We are left to live with it, and deal with the aftermath or the errors – who cares no one!!!

*****

Sarah Submitted on 21/11/2014 

2007. Following spinal surgery on L5/S1 I developed a huge CSF leak which almost killed me, this was repaired twice and I contracted meningitis. I continued to leak despite the repairs and relocated back to the UK. I have been under 7 hospitals and 11 specialists and been told over and over that I have migraines. Eventually after attempting suicide twice and feeling so very sick I went to the USA to see a specialist who confirmed I had 6 CSF spinal leaks! I was fixed and got my life back for almost a year! Then following yet more surgery I started leaking again. Now I’m back on the chase to find someone to treat me. During all these years I’ve been left in a urine soaked bed, left on a bathroom floor for over an hour after falling off the toilet with a seriously bruised back and probable damage to my coccyx due to extremely poor nursing and after complaining to the trust been refused further treatment by my consultant. The nhs have treated me despicably!
I would also like to express how very sorry I am to Angie For the appalling loss of her daughter Georgina. I have two sons with Chiari and cannot begin to understand how lost and distressed she must be feeling. My heart goes out to you Angie, and your family

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Angie Submitted on 20/11/2014

I would like to let people know how my daughter Georgina died last August 2013.
Back in October 2012 she went into hospital with severe headaches & vomiting whilst my husband, 2 other children and I were on holiday aboard. I got a phone call from my Mum saying that she was with her at East Surrey Hospital and that the doctors had carried out a CT & MRI. They found a loss of diffuse grey-white differentiation and effacemant of the sulci which suggests general brain oedema and also the ventricles seemed small. They did a review by MRI and it said there was crowning of the craniocervical junction and evidence of a 12mm tonsillar descent. There was swelling and also very little CSF around the sulcal spaces on the 26/10/ 2012.

She came out on 29/10/2012 and they gave her some medication to take for the headaches and also some to stop her vomiting. They helped for a couple of months and then on December 30th 2012 she went in again with my husband due to the extremely bad headaches. Whilst in there she had lower leg tingling/numbness, blurred vision in the right eye and was unsteady on her feet. Her Neurosurgeon said she may have Arnold -Chiari Malformation, which needed more investigation that would almost certainly lead to Surgical intervention but not at present.

I then had to take Georgina to hospital again but this time we went to St George’s Hospital in Tooting, London. Georgina was still having headaches and they were getting worse every day so they did a CT scan. It showed cerebrallar tonsillar hernation with some secondary cerebral oedema to be consistent with low CSF pressure that was causing postural headaches. They advised an increase with her caffeine intake and stated she needed to be seem urgently for an MRI on her whole spine. Whilst still in hospital she was suffering with dizzy spells and throbbing pressure across her whole head. They had a look at her previous notes which mentioned she had Sagging Brain and Raynaud’s Disease in her hands. The CT scan showed no change from the previous scan carried out. Upon discharge Georgina was advised to stop taking her headache and anti-sickness medication and drink more Caffeine instead.

Then in March 2013 my husband took Georgina to see her Neurosurgeon for a check up and she was still having the headaches that day. He didn’t send her for a CT or MRI to check if anything had changed. He didn’t even look at his own notes or mention Arnold – Chiari Malformation to Georgina or my husband, although it was written in previous notes. He put the headaches down to an accident 5 years ago where she fell off her bike. Georgina came home and felt like nobody believed her about how bad these headaches were. Her doctors wouldn’t even see her because it was about her headaches and they had told us we always had to go to A & E.

We thought everything was ok for a while as she no longer complained of pain. How wrong we were as 2 weeks before she ended up in hospital, she told us her eyes were hurting when she looked at light. Therefore, our house had to be in darkness. Then on Friday 23rd August 2013 we got a phone call from Georgina saying that the whole of her body had gone numb and she couldn’t feel anything and was also vomiting. We rushed back home to find an ambulance outside our house and the paramedics treating her on the floor. They took her straight to hospital and I went holding her hand and stroking her face but she couldn’t feel my touch. Her breathing then started to go faster so they had to put the blue lights on which was a worry. She was rushed into the Resuscitation room whist they worked on her and I sat outside on my own waiting for news.

They carried out loads of tests and gave her drugs to stop her vomiting. They came and got me, in my head I was thinking the worst and when I saw her holding her head with her hands I felt sick. The nurse said that they were taking her up to the Acute Medical ward for the night. I stayed with her and watched as they gave her 2 different IVs – 1 for 12 hrs and another 1 for 8 hrs and pain killers for her headaches. Eventually we fell asleep holding hands. On Saturday 24th August 2013 the doctors came around and told us that her Neurosurgeon was going to see her on Tuesday. They gave her some painkillers and she had a reaction to the drugs, coming up in a rash. She also had a big red patch on her head above one of her eyes and was still holding her head. I decided to go home for a change of clothes and something to eat, when I got back she was talking, drinking fluids through a straw but still holding her head. Later on that Saturday night I went home and said good night and I will see you Sunday.

On Sunday 25th August 2013 my husband, Georgina’s little sister Tiffany and I went to see her again. We could tell she was still in pain by the way she was holding her head. She was laying flat and still drinking fluids through a straw. Her little sister and I were making too much noise so she asked us to be quiet. I said that we would leave her in peace and go for something to eat, then come back. When we got back to the hospital I went to see her with Tiffany and as I got to her bedside I saw them trying to get a breathing tube down her throat – there were 8 people helping her. I left screaming and shouting and banging on the toilet door for my husband to come out. I said that she had taken a turn for the worst. He didn’t get the hospital message on his phone until he came out of the toilet. In my heart I knew she had gone.

They came and spoke to both of us and said they were taking her to the Intensive and High Dependency Unit, so she would have full time care every hour and they could help her. She had to go on life support as she couldn’t breath on her own. Her pupils were dark and nearly the size of her eyes. I found it very hard seeing my daughter Georgina like that, it made my heart ache. On Monday 26th August the doctors said to us to prepare for the worst, so I started to ring my family and friends. All my family started to arrive at the hospital to be with us through this bad time. Georgina’s friends turned up as well to be with us. On the Tuesday the doctors came around and told us they were going to keep trying different things like tipping her upside down so her feet were in the air. Then on Wednesday 28th August 2013 the doctors came and told us that they were going to do some tests to see if she could breath on her own and she couldn’t do anything. The doctors came to tell us that basically she was DEAD her brain stem had been crushed.

My husband and I decided to donate all her organs. On Friday 30th August 2013 seven families got a surprise phone call. I felt angry and hurt but also happy that she was going to help other people. The surgeons that were going to take her organs out came and met us on the ward. They said that they would look after her for us and would make sure everything went well. When the time came for them to take her down everyone started to cry including doctors and surgeons. I then asked for a post -mortem to be done and we were told this would be carried out by Tuesday at the latest. We then get a phone call from the bereavement office to go and collect the form so I could go and get the Death Certificate. While we was there we found out that my daughter was still in the mortuary and that the post mortem hadn’t been carried out because they had no note to say I had asked for one. I can’t believe how we have been treated by the NHS.

We now have got the Autotopsy results back after waiting 7 months. Due to her being left for a week in the mortuary her brain had gone too soft so they couldn’t get the results they had hoped. I feel really let down by the NHS and have no faith in them anyone!

By Angie Weaver ( mum)

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Donna Submitted on 26/08/2014

Before my Nan’s trouble with her nursing home she was admitted into hospital with shingles. She was placed in a side room because she was contagious. We all had to be gowned and gloved when visiting everyday. On the third day of her being there my mum left her at 12 for the rest period. As she was leaving a nurse entered to give my nan her medication. My mum informed the nurse that my nan seemed more confused then normal and requested that a urine test was done. She then left as that was the rules. At 4pm that same day my mum returned as that’s when visiting commenced again. She went to the side room and my nan wasn’t there. She quickly went to the drs station and asked where she was. She was told that my nan had climbed out of bed and was found just after 3pm on the floor of her room! My nan was moved and put in a bed nearer the drs station (we were now told she was no longer infectious) the dr told my mum to call relatives as they didn’t think my nan would make it through the night. My nan looked dreadful! She was unconscious and not responding to anyone! We asked for more details of the accidents as we found it very hard to believe that my nan who had been treated in the same hospital 4 times that year due to 2 heart attacks and 2 strokes was able to left her body over the side of the bed. She unable to sit without needing support. The last nurse that went in the room was the one at 12pm who gave medication, she said the bed rail was on so you can imagine we were very confused at how my nan did this. We asked if she had had a proper examination after the fall and the doctor reassured us that he had done this and that there didn’t seem to be any major injuries but some bruising may come out. He then also informed us that they would be taking her drip out as they were worried that it was flooding her lungs. It was a very emotional night and it got worst my family members became very cross about the whole thing and demanded to know more, such as why No one had been into check her in the room for over 3 hours, we had no real idea how long she was on the floor for! My nan also started to become agitated and screaming in pain! The dr was ending his shift and said that he was prescribing stronger pain relief for her and left. When we asked a nurse if she could have that medication she came with 2 tablets ( my nan was unable to have these as she couldn’t swallow at this point and hadn’t been allow water for months due to the stroke!) it them took over 2 hours to get any pain killer injection prescribed. So nan just kept screaming in pain. This all happened on a Monday by Thursdays nan hadn’t got any better and we were sick with worry. We took her sheet off her to look at her ourself and found that her left kneed was very swollen we got the dr to look and he agreed she needed an X-ray. this X-ray didn’t happen until the Friday. They found that her bone behind her knee was broken. She stayed in hospital because of this injury for nearly 2 months during his time her health deteriorated and her dementia got much worse. This was when we were advised that she needed to go to a nursing home. She still had her leg in plaster when she went to live in the home. They eventually took the plaster off saying it would never really heal back to normal as she was old and so would always be in some discomfort. We put a complaint in the week of the fall and the day after our complaint went in me and my mum were called into a private room with the dr and nurse in charge to say that they were aware we put in the complaint and they wanted to reassure us that even though we complained they will still be giving my nan their best possible care! This made me so angry! how dare they! I asked for her to be moved to a different ward and they refused. This case is still ongoing. It happened in 2013. Sorry I’ve ranted but I feel so let down by the NHS. My Nan’s last few years were sad and painful and I can’t help but think that some of it could have been prevented!

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Linda Submitted on 16/05/2014

Dad had terminal drugs forced into him, on 18th April 2004 7 days after finishing a 5 day course of Fludarabine 5th-10th April 2004 for his CLL, which his Consultant has stated, was resurgent, but responding to treatment and under reasonable control. This was dad’s first treatment in over 7 months.
Dad had been seen in Gastorenterology Doncaster Royal Infirmary, and given an Endoscopy on 10th March 2004 which his Consultant states in his letter to me 2 years after dad was killed, he reported the endoscopy result on 15th March 2004 – “There was no evidence of malignancy ie cancer and no dysplasia which are pre cancerous cells”.
Yet dad’s GP has noted on 15th March 2004, – “Telephone call from a Patient – Oesophageal cancer, all care given”.
Also the GP who did not turn out to see dad until he had been rendered unconscious with terminal drugs, we can prove he did not need, after lies were told to an on call doctor, who did not turn out to see the patient, my father, either, but gave instructions to nurses to administer the deadly drugs, Dr. R came out to see dad and upped the medication, She did actually contact the hospital for dad’s endoscopy results on Thursday, 22nd April 2004, the day before dad died, asking for the results, and was sent a fax proving there was no oesophageal cancer at 10.09 hours that Thursday, 22nd April 2004. Yet this lying woman and her colleague, who were at my father’s house the morning dad died, Friday, 23rd April 2004, both stated when we asked, what exactly dad was dying from, she and Dr. G from the Hospice both stated Oesophageal cancer, we have a copy of the fax sent to S which proves she initialled the fax “RSS – file in notes”.
Dad had stated to me on Sunday 11th April 2004, Easter Sunday, when we went out for lunch, the week before the killing began, he had found a document in his name, sent to next doors address, by what he thought was his solicitor, noting that a court case had been set up in dad’s name, without his knowledge, against his youngest son, Richard. Dad stated he phoned the solicitor and sacked him and stopped this court case.
6 days after dad’s death, both Solicitor and the lying woman who claims she is married to my father, went into court on Thursday 29th April 2004 to carry on with this court case, but fortunately the Judge refused to hear the case, since the so called Petitioner was now dead.
All the information stated above and the Pathology report and many other official documents can be found on this site.
Go to http://www.ralphwinstanleyofwath.blogspot.co.uk

How do these people get away with this, The Freemasons have a great deal to answer for.
We are now waiting for the police to come back to us, after 10 years of trying, since we have gained access to libelled documents against my sister from the Coroner in Doncaster who recused himself from the inquest at the end of March 2005 and wrote libelous letters regarding my sister to 8 different authorities, including South Yorkshire Police in June 2005, 3 months after his resignation. We have asked under Data Protection Act for a copy of this letter they received.
This Doncaster Coroner also signed and dated a Death Certificate with cause of death on 25th August 2005 5-6 weeks before the inquest was resumed by another Coroner in North East Lincs, Scunthorpe, who incidentally decided the same cause of death, coincidence or what?

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Danielle Submitted on 07/04/2014

My late Mother didn’t want to make a fuss, nor did she want me to make a fuss either. She was from that generation, grew up through the war, make do & mend, there are always people worse off than you she would say.
Pity I didnt make a fuss, She went in because a small 50p piece size burn wasn’t healing. The hospital done some tests but because it was a Saturday the blood test results got put in the Doctors in tray, then more results from other patients got put on top of hers over the weekend. By the time the Doctor got through all the Test results & finally my mums at the bottom of the pile it was Wednesday evening!
Too late to save her life because the serious blood infection that she had that was stopping the burn healing had taken over her body & was slowly shutting down her organs.
Thankfully I managed to speak to her before she slipped into a coma & passed away 7 days later.

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Lyn Submitted on 05/04/2014

My mum went to A & E for an x-ray on her knee. Nothing wrong just a slight twist but they kept her in a they thought she had a slight chest infection. 6 weeks later she was dead and with the most horrendous injuries, she had been bleeding from the stomach, couldn’t eat or drink, sit up or talk and yet on they day she went in, although suffering from dementia, being a diabetic and being 92 and quite immobile, she was laughing and joking and had eaten well and had numerous cups of tea. The cause of death was originally dementia but I refused to accept that and the autopsy came back as dying of cystitus. She had even gone to gangrene. She died in pain, fear and agony and I can’t get the last picture I have of her out of my mind of me asking her to blink if she was hungry and she looked at me and blinked. The pathologist got her date of birth, death and went on about a knee replacement she had never had. My mum worked for the NHS from 1948 until her retirement in 1981 – no one should be put through what she went through, it was heart breaking and the nurses were horrible (I admit to losing my temper once or twice) and no relatives should have to see their loved oi=ones suffer they way our mums did. – I have photos but they are not pleasant – I still insist my mum died of a twisted knee xx

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Diana Submitted on 05/04/2014

l am a victim of negligence by the NHS , for whom l was working when l was left disabled with limited mobility in 1991. I have never received justice and in fact as a now vulnerable person l have been targeted for massive fraud entwined with being deprived of pension rights, a lump sum to enable alterations to enhance my quality of life to my home and have actually been cheated of extremely valuable property / land because of failures to correct an error that was for someone else in 2000. The long list of organisations , Judges, Solicitors,Barristers and even the refusal of my own MP (involved since 2000) and the FOURTEEN COURT HEARINGS l have been forced into by :-
1) Land Registry
2) Legal Services Commission (now LAA)
3) The Adjudicator to HM Land Registry ( now absorbed into the Court Tribunals Service.
Failure by senior Judges and Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman as well as Ministry of Justice, Business Innovation & Skills, Information Commissioners Office, Serious Fraud Office, Lincolnshire Police including their Chief Constable, The Independent Complaints Review.
All done while furnishing FIVE PARTIES with unjust enrichment by way of fraud under the 1968 Theft Act.
There was theft of my own conveyance document by Land Registry who for many years allowed the process of audits to continue with the wrong address for my home and while medical records went astray and my credit status was devastated and all in a matter that was repeatedly reported as being in error and staff at Land Registry Head Office saw fit to even open privately addressed mail to prevent involvement of one of their Non-
Executive Directors.
The courts believe Land Registry explicitly in cases where there are over-riding interests, never checking to see if indeed there is any truth in there being any legitable claim to what is property / land that has recorded proprietary owners.
The actions are definately criminal and protection is laid down by our government to stop floodgates opening for the tens of thousands of affected cases
Kind Regards
Diana Smith Tel No: 01507 473053

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Daniel Submitted on 29/08/2013

Such a waste of a life .
The Hospital in Bristol misplaced my late mothers blood test results for 4 days . By the time they actually looked at them they realised that she was seriously ill . Despite us pleading with them that there had to be something else wrong. They dismissed our concerns about her sweating,shaking and filling her urine bag with blood & her skin colour being yellow even suggesting that she was an alchoholic! My mum was t total. They just said trust us we are doctors relax. They thought she had a simple infected small burn, not cholangitis raging through her body. She never recovered.
Keep pushing for the truth…….The Hospital took 14 months to admit that they misplaced my mums blood test results.

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Andrew Submitted on 20/06/2013

This is a letter first emailed by Andrew Hutchinson regarding his treatment and cover ups to Jeremy Hunt February 9th 2013, he had no reply. Andrew then sent another email to Jeremy Hunt March 12th 2013 and May 04th 2013, still no reply, and no acknowledgment.
Unfortunately this is the norm, how can we ever expect this country to listen, and put people’s cases about treatment in the NHS to right, when they are always being ignored no matter all their promises to the media. (Andrew has now spent more than £6000, in solicitors fees, etc, still with no outcome) Who walks away laughing, I wonder?
February 9th 2013
Dear Mr Hunt,
I noted your comments on Accountability regarding Stafford Hospital and feel I should bring my own case to your attention, as it ruined my life and security for my family.
It gave me the option to write to you care of the NHS, with all due respect there is a culture that everyone covers for everyone else, and the average member of the Public, their case is a whitewash and a cover up
I would like a full investigation into my own case, but no doubt will be told it is out of time, this is the problem, these cases are overlooked, NHS Trust Surgeon’s, Medical Experts, Solicitors, you are no one of any importance,
They still get paid, their colleagues continue with their job, and their pensions, reputation , not brought to account
Please take the time to read my case, sorry that it involves so many events, and ask the question was the outcome acceptable, or a cover up of lies, conspiracy by all concerned
I was diagnosed with an Abdominal Aorta Aneurysm in August of 2001, my age 56, my job teaching Motor Mechanic’s for the AA, with a Company pension that would have been in place when I reached Retirement at 65,but due to sub standard care, negligence and then cover ups had to Retire at the age of 57
To use our life savings and live on incapacity benefit until the age of 65 when I then received State Pension, my Company Pension a fraction of what it would have been had I continued to work and pay into it, therefore security for my Wife no longer exists
My Wife and I had an interview with a (NOW RETIRED) Consultant Vascular Surgeon, at the Queens Medical Centre Nottingham, the Ultrasound showed the Aneurysm to be approx 7cm.
The Surgeon informed us that it required Surgery using the open surgery method,
The reason I mention this is that there was an NHS Directive in place at the time, the alternative method of the Stent was on trial, only to be used on Patients over the age of 60 who agreed to the trial, the longevity of the procedure unknown, if you could please bear this in mind
The Surgeon informed us that he would not operate on me without the results of a CT Scan as this would show any abnormalities, unfortunately there was a waiting list for the CT Scan of at least 6 weeks, our immediate concern would the Aneurysm remain safe, he could not guarantee that it would but again reiterated the waiting time.
The CT Scan was carried out on the 1st October 2001 by their Consultant Radiologist.
On the 12th October 2001 my Wife and I had a meeting again with the Surgeon, he stated the Scans were clear, and that he would operate on me on the 17th, the operation went ahead as planned
However in the recovery area off from the Theatre my Wife and Sister in Law were waiting, they stated there was a lot of whispering is the best way to describe it, as they waited for me to come out of the Anaesthetic.
The Surgeon then came across to us and stated he had to abort the operation due to loss of blood, I had lost approx one litre of blood, due to abnormalities that were ruptured, that he had ordered The STENT that day from their suppliers in Denmark, it would take approx 6 weeks to arrive, in the meantime once I was able they would send me home to wait for this alternative procedure.
The Surgeon and the Radiologist then studied the CT Scans and admitted the abnormalities were there to be seen.
Now I have brought this to your attention because my CT Scans were sent to a Doctor in Blackpool another Consultant Radiologist, his report that any competent person would have seen these abnormalities
The Consultant Radiologist was reported to the GMC, they replied saying he had a certain time in which to respond, he failed to respond, no action was taken against him, I mentioned the Surgeon to the GMC, their reply I had not complained about him initially
So they are not aware that the Surgeon should study the Scans to plan the operation, again no action taken, you can see where this is leading already, conspiracy lies and cover ups, however it is only the beginning, the outcome left disabled.
On the 19th November 2001 they had me stay overnight at the QMC to carry out a procedure to restrict the blood supply to my thighs, they stated without this procedure it would allow more blood to flow around the forthcoming Stent operation, putting the Aneurysm at risk, this procedure caused Claudication, pain when walking, however it gets worse.
On the 28th November 2001 they operated to fit the Stent opening up both the groin and the Abdomen again, the Stent was fitted along with a plastic DACRON cross over graft to try and restore a better blood supply to my left leg, as all of the damage was caused in the initial operation, which I believe was the iliac artery, wrapped around the Vena Cava, but they failed to identify this, I was sent home to recover, again in so much pain on the Saturday the 15th December I phoned the stand in Registrar at the QMC, my Son in Law had to take me back immediately
On examination with the Ultrasound I was told the DACRON cross over graft was leaking blood into my abdomen, that I also now had a severe infection
The Consultant Vascular Surgeon saw me on the Monday and stated the Dacron would have to be removed, this is now operation number four, it would have to be replaced with a vein taken from my right thigh, as antibiotics could not fight the infection on the plastic Dacron, this procedure carried out on the 20th December 2001, I was then on intravenous antibiotics for three weeks, bags stuck to my thighs that used to fill up with dark brown fluid and had to be drained off
I left Hospital on the 10th January 2002 the day after my 57th birthday, basically a maximum of 50 yards of walking without severe pain, but could not continue to work.
Initially I went to see one firm of Solicitors paid out approx £4,500 but their Solicitor left , I was transferred to another firm of Solicitors of Nottingham, no mention of charges for this interview
Having reiterated all of the above he agreed to take on the case and stated at the very least before you see a Medical Expert for a report, we will recover your former costs, something he now denies saying, my Medical Insurance was put in place, he then sent us an Invoice for £1,500 for the interview he had done nothing else only submitted my claim forms to my Insurance, so we were now £6000 out of pocket, again he stated he would take this account into consideration at a later stage
He then arranged for me to see another Consultant Vascular Surgeon near Manchester, 7th July 2006 a year to arrange, I traveled to Manchester to see him, they carried out an Ultrasound and I again reiterated everything him.
He stated he was ahead of his work load my Solicitor would have his report within the month, I reported this information back to the solicitor who seemed surprised. The next thing we knew was this Professor now needed all of the operation notes, basically no Surgeon was going to admit negligence in his operation notes, it was obvious the case was going to be stretched out, the more they do, the more they could charge the Insurance, milking the system , you will see why I mention this, it was already over a year since the interview
Now taking it that I had not been able to exercise had put on weight obviously I was in fact starting with Angina and my solicitor had been informed of this, I had in fact an operation booked in the October of 2006 for the ANGINA.
The first letter from the Consultant Vascular Surgeon stated the first Consultant Vascular Surgeon was not negligent in aborting the initial operation, ??? I could not believe it, my solicitor wrote to us stating he agreed with this statement
Well of course not he was negligent before the operation, he had no choice but to abort or I would have died, you could see what was happening, the next letter from the second Consultant Vascular Surgeon stated I should lose weight and take vigorous exercise, you can imagine my reaction to that I wrote to him and told him in no uncertain terms what I thought of him and his report, that he was supposed to be writing a report on the standards of treatment. It was obvious what the outcome was going to be
They arranged for his report to be read at the Offices of a young Barrister friend of my Solicitor in LONDON in April 2007, we live approx 6 miles from Nottingham, approx one hour’s drive from Nottingham for the Professor from Manchester, and the Solicitors already in Nottingham,you perhaps can see what I mean now,what thought was being given to their Disabled Client,and what was their costs going to be to attend that meeting,when a Barrister could have been selected from Nottingham, my Wife and I to be there for 11 am, costs of return fares and Taxis in excess of £400, I refused of course
Therefore the Barrister came to Nottingham, it was obvious what the outcome was going to be, and the attitude of everyone concerned, the report was basically a cover up, the Barrister stated he could not take the case any further for negligence, then went on to say regarding the money owed to you from the former Solicitors etc, it may cost a couple of thousand pounds to follow this up, so we won’t bother about that either, very abrupt, but why? when my Insurance company was paying the costs, costs was not an issue for them to hold a meeting in London
Of course no one can remember what he said at the meeting and the lies and cover ups by the solicitors, these are people you should be able to trust, they were getting paid regardless. The whole system is one of conspiracy. lies and cover ups, our lives ruined, everyone else carried on as normal and no doubt generously paid.
I would ask you for a full investigation into how this could be allowed to be covered up, my financial position of course lost out on 8 years wages, my pension, and my quality of life, but no doubt nothing will be able to be done about it and so the cover ups and corruption will continue.
Yours Sincerely
Andrew Hutchinson

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Shirley Submitted on 15/05/2013

although my husband died on the 17th january 2012.
his treament was realy not accepptable from the doctors at the surgery to out of hours gp to treliske hospital.
having eventualy being diagnosed with bowel cancer his treament was realy not accepptable .but at the time i had a big enough battle with his treatment to find out who to complain to .he waited hours for pain relief at one point they even for got him on ward rounds . i still have the pictures of the state ofhis arms were the registar couldnt put a canula in they are apparently only suppose to try three or four times this doctor couldnt do it after eight . to top it all the gp told me he didnt have cancer has it wasnt showing in his blood even though when i went to speak to him my husband had been told he was going to have chemo but could not be cured

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Nicola Submitted on 15/05/2013

in 2011 i needed major surgery for placenta acceta i needed major blood transfusion an was in coma for 4 days after 2days on hdu i had good care but i got mrsa an thrush in mouth an down leg my leg after numerous concerns i then got transferred to maternity so i could spend time with my baby with my time on maternity i got washed once bearing in mind was bed bound an had staples from bellybutton down. The day i came home i was covered in feseas an still suffering thush

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Daniel Submitted on 14/05/2013

My mum went to the local hospital to have a small burn checked as it was not healing after a week & she was getting confused and hot. They decided to keep her in to do some tests and started her on some antibiotics. I went to see her the next day as she was 250 miles away and I was shocked , she was hullincinating,sweating ,yellow and had blood in her urine bag. I went to find a doctor who assured me that everything was fine and her problem was a little infection in the burn wound , the medication would sort that and it was the medication causing her yellowness etc. He said in 48 hours she would be home.I asked a nurse who came into my mums room what was wrong and she suggested that my mum was an alcoholic, that’s why she is yellow! My mum was tee total.
My mum asked me not to fuss and to trust the doctors , she was 84 , so that generation are too trusting.
I went home and spoke to the hospital many times a day and they said that there is nothing to worry about ,all is fine and my mum would be discharged soon . So I thought that I would take
Time off work to collect her and be with her for a few days once the hospital give me the day of discharge.
This went on for a week ,the hospital saying all was good , so I drove down to see what was going on . My mother was in hell of a state ,lying in her own mess , still yellow etc . No one would give me answers .
The next day my mother collapsed and was rushed to ICU where she went into a coma . She went for an emergency scan and I was told she would die in hours . I was told she had cholangutis caused by a blockage in her gallbladder . That was the source of the infection ,NOT the burn . That would not heal because the cholangutis was preventing it.
Hours become days . My mothers kidneys failed . She began to swell up as no fluids were being excreted although they kept pumping her full of fluids. I begged them twice to let her slip away , but they refused saying that there is hope ?
She died 5 days later due to toxic shock.
after a year of battling to find out the truth by letter , I finally accepted a face to face meeting with the team responsible for her care . However only half bothered to turn up and those who did were checking their watches to get to another meeting.
What I found out was appalling .
The tests were carried out on admission ,however they sat in an in tray for 4 days before they were looked at.
They then realised my mother had cholangitus , a fatal infection if prompt diagnose and treatment is not carried out .
They then waited another 48 hours to operate but by then it had rampaged throughout her body.
They also admitted to inform me that she had this fatal disease until she was in a coma . That was 5 days after they first knew.
We asked to be with our mother at all times however when it was clear she was giving up ,we were ushered out because the doctors wanted to test something.
This was when my mum passed away . Alone with her children desperately waiting in a corridor.

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Pat Submitted on 14/05/2013

I have just retired from nursing, having been in this most privileged vocation for the passed 34 years, due to ill health. I found a hugh difference in nurses values. When I worked, the new members to nursing were very proud to in form you of their degree and yet their basic knowledge of cleanliness and people skills were some what lacking. It would be wrong to say all nurses are like this, but unfortunately there are those who feel because they have a degree that some basic nursing tasks are beneath them. These tasks are important for the welfare of the patient, and if they are not prepared to do them who is? I feel that the wrong people are entering nursing and I agree with the government that all prospective nurses should be a nursing assistant before entering nursing or better still bring back the old system of apprenticeships, were nurses worked on the wards and had blocked learning in the nursing schools. Too many nurses want to take on tasks which they are very poorly equipped for and have not the knowledge or experience to back up their practices. Unfortunately, I have already had the experience of this with my own illness and I can only speak for myself but I have now confidence with the two nurses that are supposed to be overseeing my care and I have questioned their knowledge. For me, nursing needs to be stripped right back to the foundation of what nursing is all about after all they are supposed to be nurses not doctors! Please don’t get me on the matrons, yet another layer of managers!

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Julie Submitted on 14/05/2013

my name is julie i am 52 years of age and i have parkinsons disease. When i was first diagnosed i decided not to go on to medication straight away. I was put under the care of a consultant (with 33 years experience ) and a trained parkinsons nurse.I started taking meds in september 2010 and was put on to requip starting at 2mg and eventually increasing to 8mg.In the january of 2011 my voice started to change and my bp increase so the parkinsons nurse decided to change my requip to mirapexin. (which is basically another dopamine agognostic) the same medication really. In the summer of 2011 i started to have hallucinations and started to see and hear things which were not real. We consulted the nurse and consultant who decided to change my medication back to my original one(requip). This was in october 2011 and the nurse said right that means you will be taking 18mg of requip. So that meant my illness had not got worse so why so much meds?? it gets a lot worse my husband left me they called in the local community psyciatric nurse the local mental hospital they gave me anti psycotic drugs . in the end i could not stand it anymore and i lowered the drugs myself, i was in so much pain but my mind cleared. My husband returned i changed hospitals consultants and parkinsons uk became involved. we went to a meeting at the hospital with the consultant parkinsons uk and us for the consultant to admitt he got it wrong. he knew these side affects could happen in people in over 60 years of age but not younger sufferers. my life is now hell, my neighbours dont talk to me people cross the street so as to avoid me my uncle died recently and nobody bothered to tell me because they think i have mental health problems when all it was was his incompitence. Parkinsons uk have found a large amount of over medicated sufferers in our area but the consultant and the nurse still keep giving out the medication why is there no help for us. i did nothing wrong i just followed the specialists advice. now everyday i have to suffer and pay for his incompetence

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Eleanor Submitted on 14/05/2013

Concerning whistleblowers, I worked in a GP Practice and for three years been bullied and harrassed and discriminated against because of wearing two hearing aids. The RCN tried everything to sort it out but the doctor got worse and worse, also he took diabetic patients away from me and I am a Diabetic specialist nurse. I sent evidence to the PCT and GMC about the doctors care towards diabetic patients and well you will probably believe it he did not even get a warning even though he admitted bullying, harassing me and his care towards patients. ACAS was even involved regarding mediation did not work, Now I have left the surgery (senior nurse), practice nurse left and Senior Partner left so the care within the surgery is worse they do not even have a nurse. So what is the NHS Health care system coming to no proper standard of care.

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C Submitted on 14/05/2013

I am just going to say one thing get the matrons back on the wards

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Chris Submitted on 14/05/2013

I recently visted the warwick hospital to see a freind .. I went to use to male toilets once i opened the door i was abstly gobsmacked with how filthy it was.. I filmed the footage onto my phone.. An hour had passed by so i decided to go an check them i seen to male cleaners who had just come out all they did was fill up the towels…. No mop bucket or sprays or anything.. I decided to try an find them this is wer they walked past me into the disabled toilet i had no choice to record what excatly the work they were doin.. I found this utterly discusting an i told them how i felt about the cleaniness this is wer they said its tet finishin time …. GODSMACKED

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Paul Submitted on 14/05/2013

I don’t think there is a shortage of nurses I spent 4 weeks at the countess if Chester hospital and the service there was terrible. I had to get up during the night to walk to the nurse station and ask them to keep the noise down most evenings because they were 6 nurses sitting giggling loudly whilst sitting, eating and drinking and generally having a good time! Yet there was a urinal paper box that had been in the shower room covered in blood and filled with urine for most of my stay which was obviously very unhygienic why did they get up and clean that? They said that was for the cleaners to do?? Also I was I was in hospital un noticed for a while because my specialist thought I had left the hospital in a previous week I could have been there forever if he had not have seen me in a corridor.

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Ursala Submitted on 14/05/2013

My younger sister went into hospital in October 2010 for a hernia operation. Due to lack of care she spent 5 months on a ventilator and we then had to make a decision on the 24th march 2011 to turn off the ventilator.The Hospital refuses. Responsibility for her death. We are left without my sister a Deputy head Teacher at a London school. Went to England to teach little children and now she is gone. Why we might never know!!! We would like justice but we are talking on deaf ears.

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Denise Submitted on 14/05/2013

went in qmc nottm I had a blocked back passage they left me shouting the ward down and screeming in pain for three days ,when it unblocked and I needed the commode they took there time bringing it I got in a mess they cleaned the floor a little iwas laying in the bed a in a mess in soil the bed and the floor was soiled when my sister came had to wash me and change the bed she tried telling who was on duty but nobody cared ,the dirty bucket was left at the side of the bed smelling ,the day I left the bed frame and the floor still had soiled on it ,if that is igenic I hate to see Unigenic ,even the old people was just left one old lady was inlusurnating they just left her she got out of bed and had a very bad fall she was black and blue when her family came in they went grazy I don’t know how it ended

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Janis Submitted on 14/05/2013

While in hospital being treated for diverticulitis I witnessed real neglect on the ward. The older patients were not fed or changed if incontinent, I was shouted at myself for calling the the nurse during the night it was the most distressing experience.
I even witnessed a male nurse refuse to give an elderly lady in the bed next to me a bed bath, saying no way I did it yesterday, she was left in her soiled clothes for hours. I asked for her to be cleaned up and it was eventually done.
I cried when I left the ward as I felt there wasn’t anyone to fight their corner after I’d left.
My partner made a complaint to the ward sister about the staff, but I wish now I had made it more formal. The NHS can do better , not all nurses are uncaring many of my friends are nurses and care deeply.
Something has to be done to improve patient care, before its to late.

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Sue Submitted on 14/05/2013

I came in to Nursing in 1991 and have worked as a registered general nurse for 19 years in a variety of settings… working mainly night shift to suit family needs, I currently work on an extremely busy general surgical ward which also incorporates gynaecology and orthopaedics, it is a 30 bedded ward and is staffed with 3 staff overnight, usually two registered nurses and a nursing auxiliary but frequently with 1 trained nurse and 2 nursing auxiliaries, I endeavour at all times to provide the best nursing care possible in the circumstances, It is an extremely stressful environment and at times so busy we don’t know if we are coming or going, on each shift every patient must have their blood pressure, pulse, oxygen saturations, respirations and temperature recorded at the start of the shift, we undertake a drug round and administer iv medications to every patient, deal with queries, find important medications from other areas that are unavailable, we take direct admissions and do all the paperwork which goes along with this, put patients to bed, change wet beds and administer pressure area care as required, in the meantime there are usually numerous buzzers that need answered, often patients to collect from theatre,oozing dressings to change, we run a help line for pregnancy related issues and often answer several calls, Usually there would have been theatre lists that day and we often have up to ten post operative patients to look after all of whom protocol demands that they have 1/2 hourly observations for 4 hours, followed by 1 houry observations for a further 4 hours and then 4 hourly observations for 24 hours and all of the above has to be written about in detail, which leaves precious little time to provide the compassion that seems so lacking, no wonder patients feel that their direct care suffers. Unless you are there dealing with the pressures that nurses are under, I find it difficult to understand how everyone can make judgements about the care we provide or the compassion we have towards our patients, almost without exception nurses, came into the profession caring a great deal about patients ,with vasts amount of compassion wanting to help people and make a difference, we certainly didn’t come into the professsion for the money!!!!! The simple answer is we’re all burned out and we need more staff, but beaurocrats seem more interested in cost cutting.

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Shannan Submitted on 14/05/2013

I went to college for three years study health n social leaving with triple star distination hoping to go into nursing. After applying to five uni’s I only got one interview where I wasn’t successful. Due to this disappointment I further learnt that most uni’s like to fill their placements with students that require paid accomadation, I didn’t. So I am now working for NHS as a HCA level 3 loving every minute doing what I am born to do, but I wish I could do my nurses degree while working on the wards. Instead of sitting in a class room plus dealing with university financial policies and not getting the care skills I have learnt from my fellow nurses and peers. Please bring back the old ways and let genuine people do a good job.

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Valarie Submitted on 13/05/2013

I think it started to change when nurse 2000 came in,then thay had to go to unie,
this was a big mistake thay have no life experiance dont no how
to talk to people.the nurses that have worked in nursing homes are far better with people because thay have had to get there hands dirty.The training thay have today is for people who are very good at IT thay are not at being practical,there should be no jewelry only wedding rings hair up of the shoulders and we need to bring the white uniform back and be called Nurse or Staff Nurse or Sister not Joan or Mary there is no disipline any more and thats when the rot sets in,I was a nurse for 25years and iam realy scared of being addmitted in the future.

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John Submitted on 13/04/2013

my mother after poor treatment by a private nursing home was admitted at an A&E department whom by time i have got there, had fed her tomato soup, whic vomitted up, the ward doctor decided that she was vomiting blood so infused her with 6 pints of blood. i actually heard the top man dressing down this doctor in his office, he did not know i was outside and could hear, i even hear him say, this not the first time you have over infused a patient. my mother died 2 weeks later, they said of just old age and her vital organs ceased working properley. a week before she died she seemed to be rallying round and improving on the medication they were giving her. i found out 4 days before she die, they had stopped the medication and never notified anyone or gave an explantion of why.
as for myself. i had have a colonoscopy, due a fear i may have bowel cancer as symtoms showed it could be. they did the procedure, found i a polips and cut 3 of them out of me, i was screeming in agony as they held me down to continue. afterwards as i was kept in for longer than usual a doctor came to me and condecending told others do make the fuss you did, after it was discussed further with him, the look on his face when he was looking at my notes and when i said i was taken from the ward to theatre directly, he said you would have gone to pre-op first, i was not and his note showed it. i had it done with no anastetic. i never saw him again.
my family have had a bellyfull of the nhs. not withstanding of the loss of my nephew in 1968 due mis diagnosis for 2 weeks. flu they said. he had menegitis. 1968! nhs probs are not new!!!!

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Rob Submitted on 18/03/2013

My son lost 90% of his bowel due to the Dr discharging my son while he was losing blood, weight and in terrible pain for two weeks in hospital. The Dr discharged him on pile cream and sleeping tablets…….my son had perforations adhesion’s etc, no endoscope procedure followed the medication prescribed aggravated what was already very active Chronsand rotted my sons bowels, so they were blotting paper within a month!……
Frightening fact is if he had of had an endescope procedure, no surgery would have been required at all, As as soon as my son was on correct medication his Chrons went immediately into remission. My son in the end has had to have dozens of major operations, lost 4 stone, two comas, intensive care 6 months, MRSA, CDIFCIL, septicemia, pneumonia, complete wound Dehiscence from top to bottom of the stomach that is still not joined together apart from an inch wide scar tissue, (no stomach muscles tied together)
Then because of the amount of operations weight loss mall nourishment he went ‘bipolar’ . The NHS keeps sectioning him, where he gets an attacked, and it opened up a third hole in his tummy , he already had two colostomy bags.
He has been given other peoples medication, they forget to send for his life saving infliximab treatment, given medication that totally aggravates his Chrons so much so that stopped his 10% remaining bowel to completely stop. He was rushed to hospital where they said he now has major strictures and requires urgent surgery. Still nothing has been done, then in December just gone, my son called me in tears that they were going to give him the same injection again which lead to this happening…

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Yolanda Submitted on 30/12/2012

Our son was 4years old when he died on the 15th March, he had been born with a congenital heart condition Dextracardia and pulmonary Atresia, he had a BT shunt at 6 days, a Glenn shunt at 9 months, he was doing everything else in a normal way and had started school, he was happy and full of mischief. In September 2011 he had an MRI that confirmed he was at the optimum time for a final completion operation called a Fontan, this would see him then through into his adult years.
He was admitted on a cancellation to hospital on the 24th January 2012 and had his Fontan on the 25th Jan, we were told all had gone very well and there was nothing to suggest he would not make a full recovery.
Within 24 hours he was transferred out of intensive care to what we were told was a high dependency bed on a specialist cardiac ward.
4 days later fluid built up around his heart was rushed back to theatre for the reinsertion of a pericardial drain, along with the 2 pleural drains he still had in from the surgery.
We expected him to return to intensive care but he was put back in the so called high dependency bed on the ward. That evening he had a serious reaction to Tramadol drug for pain and collapsed. He wasstabilised and returned to intensive care.
Our son was losing a high volume of fluid through his 3 chest drains 3000mls a day, no knew why this was so, fluid loss was expected after Fontan but not this amount, they said it had never been seen before. The cardiologist took our son for a cardiac catheter finding the Fontan pressures were 18-20, they should be below 15, he said a fenestration was needed, a hole made in the new circuit to release the pressure, but as he was going on holiday he was happy to wait and see if this would settle down!
Over the next 11 days progress was made he sat up in bed playing and beginning to eat as he was carefully monitored for his fluid balances in intensive care,. Against our wishes he was transferred back to this high dependency bed on the specialist cardiac ward.
3 days and our son began to deteriorate, from Sunday 12th Feb. he was unable to tolerate food, constantly vomiting, became dehydrated with high fluid loses, vomiting, no fluid replacement, his Sats fell to mid 70’s needing oxygen, increased heart rate 120 rising to 170. Intense pain in side and chest, he was agitated, he demanded drinks sucking water out flannels I used to cool his head. We asked the nurses for him to be reviewed, 2 days later he was seen by a cardiologist who said he looked fine to him, the following day our son was far worse having had no sleep through pain and agitation, and he looked at him saying he looked better to him. We were desperate; we begged for a gastric specialist as he was being so sick, begged for him to be returned to PICU they said he was not critical enough. There was no nurse by his bed. His air mattress collapsed and he lay on the base of the bed for hours getting a nasty sore on his back as no staff available to move him onto a normal mattress. Anametop patch was left and burnt his skin, one iv nurse over night for iv’s, we waited 2 hours for drugs to be changed, staffing was 1 to 8 at night for a critical child, no echo done and no one noticed his deterioration.
On Thursday 16th with legs swelling, we pleaded for help, all docs in a meeting, our son had a cardiac arrest as his nurse removed a filthy central venous line from his groin that had been left in 8 days over the safe period and not ever been assessed or cleaned.
Our son was given CPR and rushed to theatre, 250mls of fluid found onhis heart and 160 mls on his left lung, the drains had got blocked!
Our son was returned to intensive care, making good progress
Our son had anti coagulation issues, they had never been able to get heparin to a therapeutic range and had titrated his doses from standard 22 units to 48 units, in week 7 they found he had no Anti Thrombin 111 clotting factor so heparin could never work, he was immune, they replaced this with 2 doses, this caused a brain haemorrhage, our son became unresponsive after the 2nd dose and despite us saying something was wrong was left 4 hours before a CT scan was done.
Our son died on the 15th march having bleed to death.
We set up a second opinion in week 3, but this was refused by a consultant, with main consultants away no one took the lead in care! Communication was dreadful.
No post mortem was needed.
We’ve since learnt-
5 months later we discover vital information was withheld from coroner
No RCA done
They have no high dependency so our son was removed out of intensive care to a general ward,
Had 2 major collapses neither of which were reported on
A second child died from a cardiac arrest on the same ward 3 weeks after us.

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Shula Submitted on 02/10/2011

Both my parents would have been statistics if I had not insisted on daily inspection of nursing and Doctor’s notes.
I know there are people with nobody in the world to support them. We need to protect them too – it maybe me one day – I’ve no children!
BUT there are many people who have loved ones and they still die of de hydration and infection.
I have a letter to say that we may look at all notes whilst the patient is in hospital. That is the law – its too often misinterpreted
Confidentiality guide lines do not apply to the patients themselves whilst in hospital or relatives with permission.
With internet confidence we can be fully in charge.
For example when I saw nil by mouth on my(100 yr old) fathers bed I required removal because any operation was only with our permission.
It would be great if you could spread this knowledge –
We don’t have to be victims there is another way which shares power rather than giving it over.
The plight of the old in hospital is as much to do with lack of respect for the elderly as the class system which says ‘me doctor/nurse’ ‘you patient’ I know best – you don’t.
We need to encourage a team effort not absolute trust in the doctors and nurses. Equal rights to patients.
These exists but are little known
Cheers
Shula

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Paul Submitted on 26/9/2012

not all N.H.S is bad but i have to say the hospital doctor killed part of my heart if he had put the right stent in i will be back at work and not like this disabled for life and on a high risk list with my new doctor and new hospital so not got good news for the hospital for covering up wot they have done to me.

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Lorraine Submitted on 29/07/2012

Dear Joanna,
I recently read your book The last 6 months.
In 2008 I had an accident which resulted in me being in hospital for 6 months. I was in my early twenties. The treatment I received from staff members was very similar to that experienced by your mother.
During my time in hospital, I experienced occasions where I feel I was treated very unfairly. There were many time I remember that my bed sheets were not changed for hours, on one occasion it was soiled for an entire day and was not changed until the early hours of the morning.
One particular time I remember was during a time when I was being injected with painkillers every 4 hours. I was in immense pain and pressed the bell for the nurse to come. She came over, turned the bell off and said she would bring it soon. Three hours went by and I continued to be in pain and call the nurses over and each time they turned the bell off and walked away. One of the nurses told me I was selfish as there were other patients that needed attending to and not just me. This made me feel really bad and the mixture of this, pain and lack of medication reduced me to tears.
I saw the nurse walk away, return to the nurses station only to read magazines and gossip with the other nurses on call. I know from speaking to other patients that as disgusting as some of the nursesattitudes were, it is very common. I think it’s disgraceful that this happens and shockingly on a regular basis.
I know from my own inpatient experiences that there are good hospitals where the nurses do care, but in my experience this was not the case at the time.
On reflection, I wish I would of made my concerns known as no one should have to wait that long for their medication and it is very are cruel to tell patients they are selfish and make them feel bad when clearly this was not the case. Awareness needs to be made to ensure that patients do not have to suffer like this when it can could easily be avoided.
Your writing has given me strength, hope and understanding and for this I cannot thank you enough. I only remember sections of my time in hospital and have never known or understood what my family went through being on the other side. Since reading your book, my sister and I have had one of the most in depth conversations we have ever had which in turn has brought us closer together. I can’t believe how clueless I was about my mother and sister’s own experience at that time, you have really opened my eyes.
When I read the part about you and your sisters giving your mum a pampering day and washing her hair, it made me cry, I can relate only too well, I went for 3 months before having my hair washed, and boy what a difference it made. Mainly to my mental state I think. It gave me some normality and made me feel a bit like my old self as I’m sure your mother felt too. I’m sure you and your sisters understand how much the little things like that count but wanted to confirm from my own personal experiences that they really do.
I’m so touched by what your family has gone through, what your mother went through and what you have done to raise awareness. You have inspired me greatly and I have just started making notes which I hope will lead to my own writing raising awareness from the point of view of a patient. I know I would never of considered this if not for you, your family and your book.
Thank you for sharing and opening my eyes. I will never forget the good your book has done for me and my family.

*****

Helga Submitted on 28/07/2012

It was a sunny September morning when the police came to get me to identify my daughter, she was 30 years old. She had died suddenly at the local bus station on her way home from town. Her death although not sudden was not unexpected by her or us her family. The medics did not accept this and still do not accept that she was dying.
She had been ill and disabled for many years. The last five years being the worse and the episode that started her slide into oblivion was when the healthcare staff did not recognise symptoms of infection at her thrice weekly haemo-dialysis sessions. My daughter through the fog that must have been her mind while her blood pressure was so low asked for a heart scan. We went for that scan on St George’s day 2007. As I drove her to the hospital I was convinced that she would die.
We arrived at the scan room and I sat with her while the scan was being performed, and I could see the screen – I knew that what we were looking at was not normal. The young woman who was performing the scan left the room for a very short time and came back and told my daughter that she could not leave the department until she had seen a cardiologist. A cardiologist arrived and told us that she could not leave the hospital and that they were looking for an emergency bed for her. I had never witnessed a bed being found quite so quickly.
She spent a day on the ward and a few more test were done including blood tests, she was massively infected and they started her on antibiotics, then they did another scan; a transoesophageal echocardiogram which showed that the mass was still growing, and following from this she was moved to a specialist heart unit. By this time she was not at all with us, her blood pressure was so low it still amazes me that she was at all conscious. She did sign the consent form, although I am sure she had no idea what was being said to her, nor what it was that she was signing. I suspect her cognition was massively impaired. Open heart surgery was performed on the 3rd May 2007 and a large mass was excised. We have a photograph of the mass. She liked to have mementoes of all her mishaps.
My daughter had little memory left over this period. She was told that this was not surprising, because her blood pressure was so low her body was protecting itself and memory is one of the things that are affected.
My daughter’s heart problems started as a result of her being on dialysis and on the lack of care and observation by the staff on the dialysis unit. Exactly when it started we cannot to be certain. One Saturday late in 2006 when her step dad took her to be dialysed, he witnessed her being put onto the machine as he always did when it was his turn to be with her. When they drew back the fluid from her line out came some yellowish discharge, the nurse when asked, “what is that” assured them that this was perfectly normal and was probably just some cholesterol. The liquid was discarded instead of being sent to the lab. This was probably the first event that could have prevented the massive damage that happened to her heart.
Nurses and doctors alike kept telling us that my daughter’s problems were all down to her non-compliance. In a roundabout way everyone was telling me that she would die if she did not start doing more to help herself. No one recognised the fainting, the low blood pressure, the chills, for what they were, infection.
If my daughter had not asked for that heart scan she would have died during 2007. I will never be able to forgive the staff for what she went through, and because of their negligence her heart was irreparably damaged, and thus her life shortened. She lived for another 4 years with increasing amounts of pain and disability.
In 2011 my daughter developed ascites. Her heart had taken a turn for the worse. She needed urgent valve replacement. She was sent to see the cardiac surgeon and we imagined that she would be called for surgery very quickly. The cardiac hospital forgot her. I have received an apology for this. In the meantime her ascites was drained and found to have listeria in it. Despite the fact that my daughter was clearly malnourished with a much distended abdomen no one noticed, she was making comments about looking like a malnourished woman from Africa – no one took any notice. People were asking if she was pregnant, the irony being that she would have loved to be pregnant but because of her Frasier Syndrome she was sterile.
At my daughters request in August I started the search to get someone else to give an overview of her health together with a prognosis. This was too late as less than a month later she died. After her death the lies started. The hospital tells me that the ascites was covert (hidden). Not true. They say that she had many years to live if all her heart and asciteswas treated, but the specialist heart unit forgot her, and as it happens would not have performed surgery on some with severe ascites that was full of listeria. My daughter did not have a chance. I am still trying to get the hospital to admit to their mistakes, 11 months on from her death. The only consolation is that she is no longer in pain.

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Will and Diane Submitted on 27/07/2012

Our son died in his local Paediatric Hospital in 1990, as a consequence of established gross medical negligence. He was aged only 10 and died of Addison’s disease, a condition that is successfully treated with a daily intake of tablets. Please note that Addison’s disease invariably results in death without treatment. Unbelievably, this disease was actually suspected four months before the child’s death by a ConsultantPaediatrician at the very same Hospital when he was previously admitted critically dehydrated, as an emergency, and almost died. The child had lost 25% of his body weight due to dehydration. The ACTH test to confirm this condition was ordered by the Consultant Paediatrician but not performed. We were not informed of the suspicion of this potentially fatal condition or the need for the special test until after death. However, the Hospital did communicate this crucial information in writing to the GPs at our local Surgery and requested re-referral if there was a recurrence of the symptoms. In the last 15 days of his life he was seen by 5 GPs from the local Surgery on 7 separate occasions and was not re-admitted to hospital until it was too late to save his life. This was despite the fact that the child was so weak he couldn’t walk for several days before death, was vomiting and again had substantial weight loss caused by dehydration, all of which are characteristic symptoms of Addison’s disease. Only one GP actually read the medical records containing the crucial information from the Hospital and did so 6 days before death. Although he informed us that he would re-refer him back to the Consultant Paediatrician he failed to do so. On the day of death our child fainted, as a consequence of critical dehydration and low blood pressure. He regained consciousness with central cyanosis and dilated pupils – it is medical opinion that the child was saveable at this point. However, the GP that attended on that fateful day, following an emergency telephone call to the local Surgery, refused to re-admit him to hospital on her first visit but did so after a heated argument on her second. However, she refused our request for an ambulance, which even at that late stage could have saved our child’s life. We therefore had no option but to drive him to the Hospital in our old family car. On arrival, just 30 minutes later, his father watched our beautiful and youngest son take his last conscious breath. Although the Coroner refused our formal request for an inquest, in 1990, an inquest eventually took place fourteen years later for a period of twenty days. The jury found that our son had died of “natural causes aggravated by neglect” confirming, irrefutably, that there should have been an inquest in 1990.
We believe that we are victims of a systemic cover up by the NHS and the State, which has now been ongoing for more than 22 years.
R.I.P. our beautiful son x

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Sheila Submitted on 27/07/2012

Between May 2005 and June 2007 I had a series of admissions tohospital due to having a stroke. Until the end of July 2009 and the beginning of August 2009 I had not fully recovered enough to be able to make a complaint due to the fact that I nearly starved to death in that hospital. I did not know you are only allowed 6 months in which to make a complaint and I was too ill at that time to do anything about making a complaint. I wrote to the hospitals Complaints Department at the beginning of August 2009 to raise concerns about the standard of care that was provided for me. My complaint did not relate to the stroke. The Complaints Department decided to look into my complaint but made it clear that they did not have to as I was out of time. My complaints were as follows
1. I was verbally abused by a foreign male nurse who shouted and screamed at me on more than one occasion.
2. I am paralyzed down the right side of my body and found it difficult to eat without help – none was provided. Food was regularly placed out of my reach and taken away uneaten, the same with drinks. My sister’s partner has photographs to prove it.
3. At some point I was left to starve to death – I remember little of this as I was drowsy all the time and in a stupor.
4. By the time of my discharge from hospital I was given a short time to live.
5. All of the teeth I had, had become loose – directly caused by starvation. (I remember when I was at Grammar school learning what happens to your body without vitamins and minerals especially vitamin C you get Scurvy and your teeth become loose and eventually fall out followed by death).
6. Two of my teeth had rotted away – my teeth were never brushed in the two years I was under their so called care. They also gave me pyorrhoea.
7. My partial denture was black. When I entered the hospital in May 2005 my gums were pink and my teeth were firmly in their sockets when I left my gums were red and receded and my teeth were and still are loose.
8. My hair was coming out in clumps and I was practically bald, they never brushed or washed my hair.
9. The two male nurse’s not from England gave me showers un-chaperoned without asking me first for permission. Rushing me into the bathroom so fast I was so shocked I did not know what to say.
10. I found out later that sometime in March 2007 an N.G. (nasal/gastric) feeding tube had been inserted. However at some point it had been removed, as the nurse here at a nursing and care home I now reside instated that it was not in place when she visited me at the hospital in May 2007. Furthermore, when I arrived at the nursing home in June 2007 the N.G. tube was not in place
11. They also gave me MRSA which they denied giving me in the letter they sent back to me. They said they tested me for MRSA in December 2006 and I did not have it. However, when I came to the nursing home in June 2007 they tested me for it and found I had it. My Medical Record states I had MRSA when I entered the home. The nurses at the home were thinking of sending me straight back to the hospital because they thought I might give it to the residents. I am glad they changed their minds because I would not be alive now. Another letter from the hospital said I also contracted C.Diff and pneumonia and according to them I nearly died twice.
12. I also fell out of bed sometime in May 2007 due to the sides of the bed not being raised and received bruising to my leg and head. I now have a large dent on the right side of my forehead. This was covered up and not entered in my Medical Records. My sister and her partner saw me
after this incident and asked doctors and nurses what had happened to me and they all said that they did not know. However a nursing assistant told my sister what had happened to me? My sister’s partner has photographs of me complete with bruises they took on that day and also on the same day he took a photograph of my meal that I could not open or reach
13. A Consultant at the hospital told my brother to take me out of the hospital and to find a care home for me as I was not being cared for athospital. An understatement I think.
14. The last thing they did for me at the hospital was to give me a blood transfusion just before I went to the home. My brother said it was done to make me appear better than I was. My sister said she had been told it was because they thought that I might not survive the journey. I looked like a Nazi concentration camp victim when I came to the nursing home and a carer said to me “there was not much of you when you came here, you were so small, do you remember”?I said I remember nothing
15. I also had a large bed sore on the bottom of my right foot
The reply I received from the hospital was a total whitewash and did not answer my questions. I was told I could reply to his letter but was blocked by the Complaints Department who told me “You have had your answer and that is it”. I have been to other health quangos since and have always been fobbed off. They are a cowardly dishonourable bunch in the NHS. The NHS inflicted unnecessary suffering on me.

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Voice4Rich Submitted on 27/07/2012

Hi Joanna,
It was with some trepidation that I read the last six months and I can only admire your love and support of your dear Mum…..the comfort must now be that your Mum loved and was loved for her entire life and that is thanks to her wonderful family.
I too am lucky to have a wonderful family, I was misdiagnosed and almost died from renal TB/meningitis but fought back to a ‘new normal’, I gave the Consultant 4 chances to talk to me and explain why he ignored his diligent pathologists report (which flagged up possible TB) ….but he didn’t take them, so I took out a clinical negligence case against the Trust and won. The Consultant is still working there but maybe his training of junior doctors now includes “the importance of reading the pathologists report”
Like ripples on a pond after the stone sinks…..my near demise brought on serious mental health problems in my beautiful 29 yr old son. My husband had died from cancer, aged 47 and his death
was also causing my son unresolved grief, my near death tipped his mental health into a tailspin it seems! After he was ‘eventually’ placed under Section 2 of the MHA, he was ‘found’ fatally wounded in hospital where he was detained “for his own safety” and his possessions were sent back to us in a black bin liner marked ‘NHS Household Waste’. It is that very act of inhumanity that drives me still! There was no investigation, no alleged weapon secured, no police called…..nothing except horrendous silence!! My Dad had also become very ill and died aged 87, just two months after my son, and emotionally I was in a bad place! But thankfully through love and support I have fought back.
In 2007, there was an offer by the then regulator, the Healthcare Commission to take the complaint outside of the NHS Complaints System, we refused and challenged them to use the system, they have in place for the rest of the public, to resolve our complaint. Needless to say I am still battling the NHS Complaints process 6 years later! But we are unearthing many failures and seem to be bringing more to the public’s attention.

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Debbie Submitted on 20/06/2012

My daughter Bethany died as a result of being taken to hospital eight times in fifteen days with breathing difficulties. If the medics had taken my daughter and myself seriously rather than a rushed diagnosis and dismissing what we had told them, should they have listened properly and taken notice and listened properly Bethany may still be alive today. These medics may be doctors of all experience and years of training but when a mother is insistent and consistent that their child is ill and keeps on returning to the hospital with the exact same symptoms it should be taken seriously, a mother knows her child better than any doctor no matter how many certificates or letters behind their name they may have. The lives of our children are the most precious possession a parent will ever have, the lives of our children can be saved if the child and parent are heard and not just listened to. This needs to be made a law and stop sending seriously ill children home time after time to suffer unnecessarily and basically left to die through misdiagnosis, lack of beds, time and care. This is not an acceptable level of care from our NHS.
Action needs to be taken now and stop other parents going through what my family and many others have done so. I urge every mother, father, sister, brother and every member of our families to read and sign. I ask you to read my article of How Well Do You Know Your Child, which has been proof read by a journalist and deemed both excellent and spine tingling words, an article that one bereaved mother should be able to reach out to the nation, make them listen and support the petition the reason behind this petition, you read and see if it is worthwhile, you decide if the basis of this petition is right or wrong. Let this be my most precious daughter’s legacy, help us to help save the life of a child, that child may be your child next. For further information please feel free to Google Bethany Flowers, you will find numerous links connected to her passing, spine chilling and so wrong.
The above is on Facebook a page dedicated to Mother’s Know Best – Bethany’s Law
The official petition is on
http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/34644
I need help this getting passed or at least try to if Bethany’s death can save just one child by forcing the government to take note and bring in his Law then I know Bethany will be a very happy Angel knowing I tried to prevent children dying from negligence/misdiagnosis.

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Joanne Submitted on 07/06/2012

My mum was treated at our local hospital. Every day was documented as there were so many problems. Inthis time there was a complete failure to exercise a basic Duty of Care under the NHS and their guidelines which included:
Failure to give specific medication for B12 deficiency even after being told repeatedly over the course of 3 weeks.
Failure to be assessed properly in A&E.
Failure by the Eye clinic to look into ‘what was behind her eye’ when we had told them the symptoms.
Failure by the nurses to provide dignity and respect.
Failure for our mum to have dignified toiletingrequirements.
Failure to provide basic nursing care where the buzzers are available.
Failure to provide, when requested, a pressure cushion to make sitting more comfortable and less problematicie sliding off her chair.
Failure to administer medicines correctly.
Failure to discuss sensitive issues in the correct way with members of family, for example incontinence.
Failure to copy correctly a patients’ prescription medication onto a Cardex.
Failure, even after a risk assessment, for the bed sides to be raised which caused her to fall on her head and neck out of bed.
Failure to keep our mother clean with food or drink dirtying her clothing.
Failure to discuss DNR with family members.
Failure at times, not to listen to relatives wishes and not discuss our mothers condition in front of her.
Failure, even after requesting numerous times, for our mother to have her hair washed.
Failure to recognise that older patients do not always understand Doctors who have an Asian accent and should be given help to do so.
Failure for the Doctors to recognise that we are our mothers advocates and are acting in her best interests.
Failure to look into our mothers repeated complaints that her knee was sore even though she had fell, slid off a chair and fell out of bed.
Failure to administer chemotherapy drugs in the correct way which we ourselves collected from a cancer specialist hospital and passed to the ward.
Failure to administer haemorrhoid cream and leaving the prescription unopened which meant our mother had yet more unnecessary suffering.
Failure to clean our mother when she had soiled herself and instead sprayed perfume around to mask the smell.
Failure to use the equipment which was available to them like the bath with the hoist for bathing.
Failure to keep the hospital clean as she contracted C Diff.
A catalogue of errors have resulted in failure to diagnose her brain tumour early enough for this to possibly be treated. She had been in hospital 6 months prior to this and we are told that the CT scan was looked at by a radiologist and not a ‘neuroradiologist’ therefore thetumour was missed and left undiagnosed. By the time it was diagnosed it was untreatable and too well advanced.

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Val Faulkner Submitted on 06/06/2012

“My daughter Lucy met three families at a bereavement group in Milton Keynes. All three families lost their precious children from medical negligence, although I wouldn’t call it negligence as much as lack of compassion. How does a so called health professional ignore the pleas of a distressed mum? For there to be 3 mothers in just one small bereavement group who have lost their children due to negligence demonstrates their cases are just a drop in the ocean.
This link below tells briefly of the total lack of treatment my beautiful clever happy little grandson Harry received, despite my daughter taking him to the hospital & GP 4 times in 5 days. How do parents carry on after they’ve found their precious first born dead in his bed 24 hours after being told “he’ll be fine” “it’s just a virus” you’d be weak if you hadn’t eaten for almost a week” Lucy was literally begging the doctors to do something to help Harry, but they wouldn’t”
There are so many issues around cases like Harrys Of course there’s the matter of his needless death, but then there is how the hospital treats the family afterwards, also the inquest process, people trust the truth will out at inquest, but unfortunately this very often isn’t the case, families need to be aware they need legal representation had it not been for our barrister I have absolutely no doubt the coroner would have accepted the hospitals constant cry of “We followed NICE guidelines” and we would not have got the verdict we did.
We feel so helpless, the amount of needless deaths through negligence is nothing more than a national scandal but no one is EVER made truly accountable. The hospitals trot out the same old platitudes about how they have made changes & lessons learned etc etc. But they never are. You can make as many procedural changes as you like, but human beings have to follow them, if they don’t care, don’t have time, work too many hours or whatever the excuses are, these tragedies will continue to happen. Maybe health workers would focus their attentions on their patients a little more if they thought there was a real chance of their facing criminal charges if a death occurred due to their negligence. The doctors involved are still working, it’s been business as usual for them, I wish I could say the same for my family.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-northamptonshire-17678224

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Manuela Submitted on 25/02/2012

After accepting my case for ‘investigation’ on 27 September 2007, with little contact and no reference to any supporting/substantiating documents from me, the PHSO rejected my complaint by way of a commissioned report prepared by a consultant neurosurgeonspecialising in intercranial tumours, based solely from selectively disclosed records from the Hospitals NHS Trust . The report is dated 24 March 2010. My letter of formal complaint regarding the management of the case dated 27 April 2010 remains unanswered. My letter dated 19 October 2010 drew no response from the PHSO.
Ÿ Failure to review clinic notes prior to surgery and, as a result, failing to note that ‘senior review of procedures’ was required;
Ÿ Failure to acknowledge and record nerve damage in operation notes, theatre and clinical records;
Ÿ Lack of information provided by surgeon to ward staff on 2 June 1997 to enable proper after-surgery monitoring, medication and general assistance;
Ÿ Producing 2nd operation note 16 days after surgery which purports to be eye-witness account and makes no mention of an ‘event’ which required the consultant’s intervention;
Ÿ Failure by surgeon responsible (only identified much later to be an unsupervised trainee registrar) to identify himself and to discuss with me at any time after surgery, the outcome of surgical procedures carried out, despite being present on the surgical team’s daily ward round;
Ÿ Failure by Consultant responsible for the unsupervised trainee registrar to discuss outcome of surgical procedures carried out until 4 days after surgery;
Ÿ Failure to carry out tests to establish extent of nerve damage caused by surgical procedures;
Ÿ Failure to assess my medical condition and rehabilitation needs prior to discharge;
Ÿ Failure to advise GP of true extent of injuries sustained as a result of surgery;
Transferral to Community Hospital without assessment, having disregarded advice from senior nursing staff at this facility that they could not provide adequate care and treatment.
My requests to the Hospitals NHS Trust, Strategic Health Authority were largely ignored, in the main deliberately misinterpreted and latterly rejected without transparent investigation by the PHSO. I am at a loss to understand the reluctance to review serious issues of failure to provide the standard of treatment and reasonable care which I so trustingly expected, but patently did not receive.

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Chris Submitted on 18/10/2011

Hello Joanna
Just read your harrowing, but full of love, story of your mother, having reached it through your comment on the Telegraph e-pages.
My mum, Iris, died last year. She had Alzheimer’s and had gone really downhill after being admitted to hospital after a fall. She had a very small bump on her head but the staff at the care home were concerned she might have concussion. She had Alzheimer’s for goodness sake,concussion was the least of her worries! Her care in hospital was lacking in many aspects but when someone has Alzheimer’s it is difficult to separate what is a natural progression on the disease and what is down to poor care (being told to ‘go in the bed’ when she wanted help to go to the loo, hard sandwiches for lunch when she had no teeth etc). I did write a complaint to the hospital and receved the usual, ‘we will learn from your experience’ reply. Anyway, her descent into absolute confusion seems to me to be similar to your own dear mum’s experience.
Mum had to go to a different nursing home after her stay in hospital, having become doubly incontinent, and I’m afraid the change was just too much for her poor mind and body and three weeks later she died.
As I wrote in my comment (foriris) to the Telegraph e-pages, we don’t hear of children in paediatric wards being dehydrated or starving or lying in excrement, and if we did all hell would, quite rightly be let loose. So what happens in these wards that doesn’t happen in wards caring for the elderly?
I would like to offer my help in any way for your efforts to keep this issue in the public and political arena.

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Sandra Submitted on 25/07/2011

when I and a group of people attended a meeting with jenny jackson(chief advisor to lansley) last sept 2010.We all submitted our complaints directly at the door of no 10 downing st.I for one did not even receive an acknowledgement from Downing st and I don’t believe others did either.
We/nhs reform even commented to jenny jackson at the meeting about our complaints,in which janet brooks( from nhs reform) suggested to jenny about a healthcare meeting to try and resolve the complaint system.
Her idea was taken on board and a healthcare meeting was held over a period of months,BUT neither she OR any member of the NHS
Reform group was requested to speak at the inquiry,in fact the majority that were allowed to speak had already been in the media with concerns over the deaths at the MID STAFFS,( I believe) they didn’t want the country to know the extent of complaints in the system.thus preventing other complainants coming forward.
For me the whole system is a sham,all they do is send letters out( I believe) to say the system works etc.YES for some it does BUT woe betide anyone that it doesn’t,ALL doors are closed tight and we/complainants are ignored OR in some cases threatened.
I believe there will never be a “DUTY of Candour” in the NHS because they fear litigation maybe rife BUT myself I believe if?? they are upfront n the first instance when errors happen and people do not have to fight for justice for years,not many would go for litigation.
The DUTY of Candor needs to start right at the top then when they are transparent and honest they will pass their principles down to otherorganisations.
As they say Evil thinks as evil does..

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Cheryl Submitted on 07/07/2011

My daughter, now in her mid-twenties, has suffered from ulcerative colitis since her early teens. She has been hospitalised on various occasions and has followed the usual courses of drugs for this inflammatory gut disease to cope with her awful attacks and to try to keep the inflammation down between them. Some three years or so ago, my daughter was experiencing really severe anal pain. Our excellent GP did his utmost to help but she became increasingly ill and he arranged for her to be hospital. In an effort to secure the speediest possible treatment for her due to the severity of her pain, we opted to pay for private treatment within The hospital system. In fact, this complicated the issue and slowed down the process but she was eventually examined, nothing was found and she was sent home in the most terrible pain and distress. After having my daughter home for a day or so, I could see that she was in unbearable pain and repeatedly begged the hospital to re-admit her. They turned me down flat. In sheer desperation, we paid for a private ambulance to rush her into The London Clinic. They immediately found the root of the problem and it was touch and go by then whether she needed urgent surgery. This surgery could have left my daughter permanently incontinent. You can imagine our fury. We contacted the doctor responsible for her treatment, or rather non-treatment. He confirmed that her problem ‘could be hard to spot’ and indeed, he had not spotted it. Our anger was not just at his incompetence – the problem was identified very speedily at the London Clinic – it was also at the utterly callous, mindless, disgusting reception I received when I so begged for her to be re-admitted. I do not expect doctors to be perfect and, as human beings, accept that mistakes are inevitable. But why discharge her in such a terrible state – clearly something was very wrong. Why not re-admit her when she was clearly so very, very ill. I did consider suing the hospital but was for some weeks too busy nursing my sick daughter to have the energy to launch such an action. Had the London Clinic not dealt with my daughter so excellently and had major surgery been required, I certainly would have sued and my belief is that the hospital would not have a leg to stand on. What a disgusting, disgusting episode – they should be ashamed.

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Sandra Submitted on 03/07/2011

I am one member of the nhs reform group.. Last year sept 1st.2010 10 of us handed our complaints in personally at NO 10.. as of yet I for one have NOT received any acknowledgment from them,and I don’t believe others have either..
What chance have we/complainants of getting honest answers from the NHS when downing st ignore us?
we complainants need to stand together and fight for our rights.
These quango’s that actually( though are paid via the public purse) but work for and behalf of the NHS should be paid by them, NOT us.
we need one quango that’s independent of the NHS and government so their findings will be dealt with honestly,NOT covered over.. Good luck in waiting for reply’s from A.lansley etc.

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David Submitted 6th June

Dear Joanna,
I read with interest your account of your late Mother’s experience when admitted to hospital for a broken hip.
My Mother aged 93 in 2009, had a fall at her Warden assisted flat here in Stevenage Herts. Paramedics were called and they believed no bones were broken, only severe bruising to my Mother’s hip. They advised her to go to hospital for an xray just to be sure. At that time Mother had mild pain in her hip.
Upon admittance to our local hospital, she was sent for an xray which confirmed no breaks, only bruising.
After several hours in holding a holding ward, they thought she sounded a bit chesty so transfered her to a permanent ward. This ward is specifically for old senior citizens and does not feel or smell healthy at all, although staff seem very dedicated.
During her stay on this ward, Mother’s health began to deterioate and two weeks later she died. On the evening before her death they said they were sending her for an xray and putting her in an isolation ward. My Mother was left much to her own devices very similar to your Mother and it was left to my Son’s Mother-in-law to care for her. I might add my Wife was also very ill at the time and could not help. My Wife died 3 moths later in a local hospice under entirely different conditions, there was respect from all members of staff. On my Mother’s death certificate the cause was C-Diff and chest infection.
I was called at 5am and told she had died, I don’t know exactly when.
C-Diff seems to be rife in hospitals and just accepted.
I felt I had to write to you regarding my Mother, as the circumstances sounded so similar.
Regards
Dave
There was no explanation

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Julie – Submitted 5th June

Dear Joanna,
I have had extreme difficulty in reading your article about the last months of your mother’s life because of the tears streaming down my face.
My own mother is eighty four years old and like your mother has always taken great pride in how she presents herself to the world and looks years younger than she is. Unfortunately she was widowed at the age of forty six and has been on her own ever since and become quite independent. However, she is now confined to home for extended periods of time simply because she is too scared to go into hospital and have what should be a simple operation on a bunion which is extremely painful and makes walking and wearing anything other than soft slippers unbearable. Of course this is naturally having a detrimental effect on her mental well-being and she is often quite depressed. she is convinced that the National Health Service does not care about elderly people and that if she goes into hospital she will not come out.
I am sure your mother knew she was loved and had a happy life and she deserved a better, more dignified end.
With my sympathies

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Yvonne – Submitted on 14/06/2011

To Joanna and family.
This is such a distressing story and one which I know alot of people will have experienced elements of with their loved ones.
I’m so sorry for the suffering you had to watch, but sadly identify with you so much. It doesn’t seem to matter what country your in, the lack of care is just the same, and the impact accross our countries is felt with the same pain.
What happens to us when our loved ones become ill when we loose the ability to speak out for them against doctors, nurses and administration staff, how we become reduced to completely useless human beings?
The training of such staff seems to be amazing in the area of brushing off our questions and making us feel like we shouldn’t be troubling these ‘special’ people.
There were some wonderful people surrounding my mum when she was hospitalized, but they were mainly the nurse’s assistants, I’m sorry to say. There were some beautiful people in these jobs, who were kind and sweet. The same could not be said for some of her consultants, the onesbeing paid the high salaries, the one’s who went golfing early Friday afternoons, and were not available when sickness hit on the weekends.
Like your mum, my mum was independent and lived on her own right up to 5 weeks before she died, she was 89, she too died of renal failure. I will always carry the guilt of not knowing what best to do for her, she wanted to go home, but because of my inability to care for her needs, this was not possible.
We did take her out to lunch, which she loved, but when we returned to the hospital her consultant critisized us for taking her out of the hospital, even though he had told us her time was short.
Three days before she died she requested a pint of Guiness and acigerette, neither of which she used. We did manage to bring heraccross to the hotel close to the hospital and indeed she had both of these things. She was very ill that night, but managed to laugh about it.
Mum died three days later, I will miss her forever. RIP mum. x Yvonne

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Christine – Submitted on 14/06/2011

reading this is like reliving the ordeal we went through nearly 3 years ago, my mum lived in a home she had dementia, she fell and fractured her hip she was taken to hospital, the care she recieved was terrible wevisited her every day just to make sure that she was comfortable and had been given food and drink. the lady in the next bed told us on severaloccassions that mums food had just been put down and left then cleared away no one tried to feed her she lost a lot of weight during her stay in hospital. i visited with my daughter in law and 18 month old grandaughterwho kept reaching into the window we found 2 little white tablets i took them to a nurse she just threw them in the bin totally unconcerned, we are not sure if she was having her right medication 1 nurse made some comment about finding tablets in mums bed, when i asked to see her chart they gave me 1 starting only a few days previously when i asked for the earlier chart i was told it had been lost. they did not have a clue how to handle people with dementia she was often completely naked at visiting times as she had pulled the sheet off her i felt that all i did was complain to the staff it seemed impossible to get any answers from anyone, this went on for 6 weeks. in desperation i asked the managerfrom the care home to visit with me, she just wanted to get mum back home when she did go back she was bathed and made comfortable she was fed 3 times a day and put on protein drinks, it took them a while to coax her to eat but she ate it all with a bit of tlc and patience. sadly mum passed away earlier this year. it was the most dreadful 6 weeks.

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Fiona – Submitted on 13/06/2011

Hi Joanna
Your diary and blog has been truly inspirational. This week is the first anniversary of my father’s death and through sharing my comments on your blog and reading the incredible stories it has given me strength. I really hope your letter to David Cameron et al will lead to changes within the NHS: standards, lack of compassion and care, lack of communication to relatives etc etc … as you say CHANGE MUST HAPPEN. Our parents have given so much to this country … my father was in the RAF, worked in the NHS and did everything by the book … and to die without compassion (and as I have said before without even a glass of water) breaks my heart. We are supporting you all the way!

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Alan – Submitted on 11/06/2011

I have just read the extracts of your Blog in the Mail Magazine. It was almost a parallel story to that of my mother who was referred to an Intermediate care centre for rest and rehabilitation on Dec 6th 2010. She went in as an independent and proud tidy lady, who needed some rest and care. Within days she deteriorated both mentally and physically. On Jan 12th I could not bear to see what was happening and took her away to a wonderful care home. Within days she had recovered from the serious dehyration and malnutrition from which she was suffering. I have pursued the Hospital vigourously and have secured their commitment to make a series of changes, but I have no confidence that they will followthough. I moved my mother to be nearer to me, and sadly she had a further fall and needed a hip operation in June, this time at a different hospital. The surgery went well, but again the nursing and after care was barely adequate. It was over a week before the Physiotherapist visited (I took her out of hospital within 2 days of her operation). I was not at the care home when he visited but the Manager there said the visit was perfunctory, and that the Physio will ring me to tell me why he cannot help! So much for our wonderful well paid well educated angels.

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Fiona – Submitted on 08/06/2011

Dear Joanna
Your diary was incredibly moving … your mother was obviously a beautiful woman. With the comments being added to your blog makes me realise how widespread this lack of care is. As someone said you can pump money into the NHS but if the humanity and intelligence is not there at the grassroots, how can it ever change?
My sister and I will never come to terms with our father’s death … I think because we can’t get the last week he was in hospital out of our heads. My father had broken his hip 6 months before and had been through a period in intensive care, during which time we were told by a consultant he was unlikely to survive, but he pulled through. Of course we thought dad was invincible. I had a horrible experience when a nurse shouted at me – I had been asking her lots of questions and we were so desperate for dad to survive … but she thought I was undermining her. I ended upapologising to her just to keep the peace and didn’t want it affecting the way she treated my father. In fact on many occasions I felt I was walking on eggshells.
When my father was admitted to hospital 6 months later, it was for an unrelated issue. With hindsight we would have been much more assertive with the nursing staff and consultants. My father died suddenly from a pulmonary embolism, but at no stage was he put on anti-coagulants or even given compression stockings – you would have thought this should have been routine practice for hospitals. As I mentioned in my comment, the renal failure lead to a horrible confusion and agitation which the nurses mistook for aggression. On my last visit to see my father on the evening before he died, the sister of the ward approached me and said bluntly I am referring your father for psychiatric treatment! There was no compassion or attempt to understand. In fact my father should really have been in intensive care because the confusion was so bad. The confusion and agitation led to him pulling out all his lines from his hands and trying to get out of the ward. He collapsed because of the embolism but who can say whether or not this was brought on by the neglect of care during the week. My father’s kidney specialist was very good and communicated with us and we had a lot of faith in her. However, the other consultant caring for my father made no attempt to communicate with us during the week. We met with him after dad’s death and he said he had given my father 48 hours to live – why was this not communicated? This was in direct contrast to the other consultant who had talked about my father being out of hospital the following week.
It really helps sharing the experience but it is difficult to come to terms with. I think something needs to be done about communication in hospitals and training for nursing and auxilliary staff … but can you train people to be compassionate and caring? Thank you too for your blog and I hope you are able to get some inner peace from time to time. The death of our father has changed us … in some ways I have become more assertive and grown up. Our beloved father appears often in our dreams, but of course this is bitter sweet as you wake up and realise he is never coming back.
Take care and warm wishes.

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Heather – Submitted on 08/06/2011

Your story made me cry so much, and my sister. Our Mother’s story is sosimilar. She was in hospital for a routine knee replacement and got C.diff. Like your lovely Mum, she didn’t get her hair washed until we intervened and paid for a mobile hairdresser, she was very frightened in her last 3 days and we had to beg for more morphine. She died after 3.5 months and it was an awful ending. She was 81 too. We have to do something about this.

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Carole – Submitted on 08/06/2011

In reply to shula rich.
Shula- did you send all your complaints to the Chief Executive of the Trust? PALS is useless- after a while I realised they were there to absorb/deflect the complaints and did not have any power to bring about change. Nice people- but there to give the impression someone cares. Few CEOs actually really know anything about what is going on in their wards – why would they? If they ever visit the wards it is with a nurse manager. They should try making a few unexpected visits now and again.
Spot- on getting to read the notes- i was a nurse for 44 years, retired 2002 and for about 5 years before I left I began to notice the deterioration in the quality of the medical staff, and the inaccuracies, very often, in the case notes. You are right that there is no evil intent, these people are simply ignorant and there is now a culture of indifference which pervades throughout the system. Too-high bed occupancy and frequent transfers of patients from one ward to another make it difficult for staff to get to know anything about their patients though. But, hey, plenty of time to cluster round the computers and text on your mobile!
Keep fighting and I hope your Dad never has to go into hospital again.

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Geoff – Submitted on 08/06/2011

I saw the article in The Mail on Sunday but sadly was not surprised by what I read.
My Mum (in her 70s) fell and broke her hip a few years ago. She went in to hospital to have an operation to repair it using a metal plate and screws. I went to visit her in hospital after the operation and remember thinking the place was akin to something you would expect in a third world country. There were insufficient staff on the ward and many of those nurses who were there were scruffy, slovenly, lazy, uncaring.
On one day when I went to visit Mum and she was able to get up and walk with the aid of a stick after the op I was impressed that one of the staff actually made an effort to give me a progress report on how well my Mum was doing as we slowly made our way along the corridor to the day room. The individual concerned actually looked quite smart compared to other staff on the ward. Dressed in white I assumed she was one of the medical staff but I later found out she was one of the cleaners!!!
It seemed that if it wasn’t for the like of those who came to visit patients on the ward things would have been much worse. Glasses and jugs of water would, deliberately it seemed, were put out of reach of those bed bound patients only for visitors to rectify this so that thirsty souls could get some refreshment at visiting time. Whatever happened to common sense! Not only were drinks left out of reach of patients but so were the staff call buttons which meant patients were unable to call for help when they needed it. My Mum asked one male nurse to help her get out of bed one day so that she could go to the toilet. The male nurse, a big fat chap weighing more than 15 stone by the look of him, refused on health and safety at work grounds saying that my Mum (less than 8 stone) might push him over!
Whilst sat in the day room with Mum one day I had to call staff over twice to help a patient who was out of bed and crawling across the floor. There were no nurses around so a couple of physiotherapists who happened to be on the ward at the time had to step in.
I don’t know what it is about the nurses on the ward but they seemed to assume that all patients became hard of hearing when they were admitted to the ward. They used to shout at them like they were deaf or stupid. I made a point of visiting Mum as often as possible in order to make sure she was okay and try to keep her as comfortable as possible as I had no confidence in the staff at all.
Mum has to undergo monthly treatment for her bone cancer which she was diagnosed with a few years ago (originally misdiagnosed as something else by the NHS!). Her treatment was due during her stay on the ward after her hip operation but the nurse there at the time only let her go reluctantly after my Mum persisted in stating how important it was for her not to miss it!
Mum mentioned loads of things that were wrong on the ward, far too many to mention here and many which have slipped my mind over time. It mainly seemed to boil down to the fact that there were insufficient nurses on the ward and some of those there were just no good at their jobs.
After Mum was discharged I remember thinking I wish I had kept a diary of the incompetence she encountered on that ward. She felt more able to talk about the state of the place after she got home rather than while she was in there in case she upset the staff and suffered any reprisals. I was so incensed I wanted to write a diary about this comedy of errors and send it in to the local newspaper. Mum was against this though as I don’t think she wanted to make waves in case she had to go back to the same place in the future and would subsequently suffer any consequences for speaking out. But this raises the question, do we the public have to speak out about such things in order to get things done? The hospitals themselves must know how bad things are. I am no expert in medical care but even I could see what a shocking state the place was.
After Mum was released from hospital she discovered one of her legs was now shorter than the other. The surgeons had not bothered to advise her that this was or would be the case. She struggled for a year with the plate and screws repair which the surgeons had carried out but was often in discomfort. Eventually the metal plate buckled and Mum had to go back in to hospital and this time had a hip replacement operation. I always thought they should have done this first. Had they done so they would have saved themselves a lot of money in the long run. Fortunately Mum is now able to walk much better than after her previous op.
My heart goes out to Joanna because her Mum should not have suffered as she did. Time and time again we see examples on the TV news ofinsitutions in this country being guilty of misconduct and so forth. The institutions offer a lame apology and we hear it said that “lessons will be learned” but lessons never do seemed to be learned because it happens again and again and again. When stories like that in the Mail on Sunday expose such things situations may be temporarilly resolved but I have no confidence that these conditions will not arise again in the future. Why do they wait until it’s too late and then go through the time consuming ordeal and expense of putting things right rather than exercising basic common sense and tackling such obvious problems before they get out of hand. I’m sure there used to be a time when hospitals were run properly. Is it so difficult to do so again?

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Sue – Submitted on 08/06/2011

After reading your article in Sunday’s Mail I just felt I needed to comment. I’m so very sorry not only for the loss of your dear mother but for the circumstances surrounding it. The sad thing is that it is not isolated.
I lost my mother on Boxing Day 2005 after a 3 month struggle, 2 of which were in ITU. When she left ITU she was just dumped in an ordinary ward – after 2 months of 1 to 1 24 hour nursing (which was excellent) she went straight to just an ordinary bed on an ordinary ward with no adjustments & this is when she rapidly declined & all the care she had (not to mention the money spent) was wasted. I hate myself for saying it but when I remember how she suffered due to the care given (all very similar to what you & other posters here described) I think it would have been better if we’d lost her at the beginning.
I have to agree & respect the comments of Carol, a professional, who could see what was happening with a trained eye, but I think that as a family member looking on, we feel powerless to complain or intervene at the time in case things ‘get taken out’ on our loved one.
I did most of my mum’s personal care myself, including bringing food in, but I am lucky in that at the time I wasn’t working & lived close enough to the hospital to be able to get in every day. But it is what happens when you are not there (or can’t be there) that is a worry & everything I read last week about the failing hospitals regarding food & drink being out of reach, lack of care etc, I saw for myself on a daily basis.
Instead of David Cameron pontificating with MPs & the like, he should get the grass roots opinions of the people who use the NHS every day – what does someone usually holed up in a 5* private clinic with a consultant visiting every day & enough nurses on duty to look after an army know about how it?
I hope he read your article Joanna, & that he might be spurred into reviewing the current NHS reforms bill in favour of the people & the greater good & not as an exercise in saving money.

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Liane – Submitted on 07/06/2011

Joanna, I have just read your mother’s story & feel such sympathy for you.
My dad died 8 years ago – a fantastic man who lit up any room he walked into. He wasn’t old, just 61, but had terminal cancer. We thought he maybe had a few more months to live but he died suddenly one night from an embollism. Two days before he died I witnessed a nurse shouting at him for not being able to move himself into a wheelchair. I asked her not to speak to him like that but didn’t make a greater fuss because I knew he’d hate that (he wasn’t comfortable with needing so much help as it was). He had needed changing, having soiled his pyjamas, & I could see that a fairly inadequate effort had been made to clean up properly. Thank goodness I was there to take his pyjamas homethere & then. I asked for his bedclothes to be changed which, to be fair, they were but obviously wouldn’t have been had I not been there. I was too emotional to speak to anybody senior that day & the next day nobody was around to speak to. The following day he died.
We wrote to the PCT (the hospital was a large London teaching hospital) & had a meeting with the ward sister, the nurse & other staff. Dad had also had bad bed sores & resources which could have prevented these were not used. It achieved little (the usual ‘processes are being reviewed’) but allowed us to get things off our chests. If nothing else, I was able to show the nurse how unacceptable her behaviour was. She clearly saw dad as an inconvenience, a man with no need for respect. If only she’d seen the person he’d been up until 6 months before she maybe would have treated him differently. As devastating as his sudden death was, in hindsight I’m glad he didn’t have to spend any longer in hospital as he undoubtedly would have done.
My father-in-law, now thankfully well again, was in hospital last year. It was impossible to see a doctor & the nurses were, at times, so rude. It can’t be an easy job but, again, the lack of respect made me wonder why some choose to do such a job when they clearly struggle in dealing with people in times of stress. The NHS can be amazing but when it goes wrong the impact is quite devastaing for all concerned.

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Terence – Submitted on 07/06/2011

Dear Joanna
My heart goes out to you , I looked after my aunt and she was veryindependant, Always cooked and cleaned up until she fell on a step and broke her hip . This was repaired and after a while in hospital she was allowed home , My cousin came from france to look after her and on the day before she was to go home to france my aunt fell over again breaking an arm.
while recovering she fell again and broke her hip again , She was admitted to Whipps x university hospital and recieved treatment whichechos your mothers treatment, It was the most awful experience watching her deteriate daily ,
The nursing staff were hopeless and did not give the attention that she deserved and sadly she too died , the NHS needs to bring back proper nursing and care.

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June – Submitted on 07/06/2011

such a terribly sad story and my heart goes out to you.My mum is 93 now and in a lovely home where she often just says “I,m very content” and I think at this age this is a lovely comment.I am a health care worker and used to work for the NHS.I know from experience that sometimes the people who should care don,t.Shortage of staff too much to do,but these mistakes should never happen.I only hope that when it,s my mums timetogo my sister and I are there to speak for her and she goes with dignity we all deserve that!

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Lynne – Submitted on 07/06/2011

I too was moved to tears as I recently lost my Father in April this year after a I0 month battle with the NHS, a routine hip replacement that went horribly wrong. We took our fight with the hospital to the top level with the Chief Executive accepting negligence but at the end of the day he’s not on the ward or carrying out operations. We battled every day overtreatment,care,cleanliness and drugs with ward staff, Doctors and Consultants.My Mother also kept a diary, the contents of which make very tough reading too. Often during this time I have found it hard to believe that this is the 21st Century and we live in a civilised society where there is no excuse for people to die under these circumstances.

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Andy – Submitted on 07/06/2011

We! that is Alexa my fiancee and sister have read your moving extract in the Mail on Sunday. We are still dealing with the loss of our father who passed away in hospital on the 11th February 2011. He was admitted on the 3rd Dec 2010 with dehydration having had the flu vaccination followed by the Flu/swine flu who knows. My mother was unable to cope and called the GP who had him admitted. If only we knew what was ahead of us we would have insisted he went to a differant hosptal. I would like to say more however, following a complaint we have lodged to the hospital (while he was still alive) regarding his treatment and care, we have yet torecieve a concluding report from the hospitals investigation. This has also been hampered by insisting on a post-mortem and the inquest which followed. From the start to when we reach a conclusion this has been a catalogue of errors in much the same way as your Mother Kay.
What is not realised by the ‘decision makers’ is the consequences of ‘death without dignity’ Firstly to the person suffering and secondly to the family’s watching the slow death. Our Mother is know trying to come to terms with the loss of her life long love, who was a fit 75 year old who played Golf every week as well as other retirement activties. Like you we made notes during his illness, although brief, we have not and will not let this go out of the respect we have for our father. I will feedback with any updates.

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Shula – Submitted on 07/06/2011

Dear Joanna
Your family’s shattering experience and your mother’s shows more than ever how necessary freedom of information in hospital is.
1) I copied my daily diary to PALS by E mail so that each incident was immediately public.
2) I wrote to the head of the Primary Care Trust with the
most serious incidents.
3) I emailed any doctor concerned in my father’s care each time copied to PALS.
4) At my daily visit I required to read all medical and nursing notes to my father who is 100 and deaf blind.
5) In reading the notes I found
a) two misdiagnosis,
b) an over prescription,
c) a wrong prescription
d) an operation to take place without our permission.
e) a DNAR without our permission or discussion
f) two pages slagging me off in the nursing notes.
I corrected and commented on everything and emailed PALS with any comments.
6) It was almost war with some ward staff so great was their resentment at what they saw as interfering – but I was fighting for his life- I had no choice.
Is there any evil intent? I don’t think so – just a complete incomprehension from most nursing and medical staff that we can read and understand their notes and with the help of the internet, will and can, modify and discuss. Under ‘freedom of information’ we have the rights I asserted. Its very tough going.
I hope all reading your deeply distressing account will put pressure on all hospitals to recognise our right to unrestricted access to our notes whilst an inpatient( with permission of our loved one) and we must have the confidence not to allow Doctors to make decisions without advice from us and discussion with us. I have a letter acknowledging our right to access to our notes which I can send to anyone if it will help. I also have a subsequent letter which requires an appointment to be made. I will if needed make a daily appointment if my parents need me to. My father is 100 and deaf and blind – he has survived and is home with us now. I had support from some people within the system – some nurses, some doctors, and most important one person who supported us within the hospital admin. If I had not had the support, if I had not had the notes, my father is unlikely to have survived.

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Norma – Submitted on 07/06/2011

I am so sorry for your loss, I too have a similar story, luckily for my Mum she had cancer so passed away at our local hospice.
My thoughts are with you
Much love

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Will – Submitted on 06/06/2011

Dear Joanna,
After reading of the horrendous and appalling lack of proper treatment your Mother received in hospital I felt the need to write and tell you of a not altogether similar experience, although I am sure you will now receive details of others.
It concerns the care of my late partner who died in January 2010. I had known him for over six years and he first started to experience general ill-health combined with myoclonic epilepsy and weight loss in late 2005 when he was only 27, but apparently neither our doctor, nor numerous so-called specialist consultants were unable, or sufficiently interested to try and identify what was actually wrong with him.
Then, following some internal bleeding, he was seen by a specialist at our local hospital who proved to be much more sympathetic to his worsening ill-health and suggested an Aids test. We naturally refused to believe in any such condition, but alarmingly, it then proved to be all too true. It subsequently became apparent that he must have contracted thisdreadul virus through an infected needle when we visited Barbados in 2005, either in the local hospital following a fall when he damaged his head requiring stitches, or a tattoo parlour in Bridgetown.
However, because of the delayed diagnosis, his condition deteriorated from then on and his body by this time was unable to tolerate theantiretroviral drugs so very necessary to give him a chance of survival. By the autumn of 2009 he was going steadily downhill, but had most definitely given up the struggle, remaining very positive in his outlook and trusting that new drugs would become available in time to save him. In this respect I now come to the point of my remarks.
In October he was admitted, for the second time to a major London hospital for treatment, by which time he was having regular blood transfusions every 3/4 weeks. However, this visit turned out to be a complete disaster as, within 24 hours of admission he had suffered five epileptic seizures while unsupervised, causing horrendous injuries to his head and back. The head wounds were not stitched or dressed properly, so much so that within a week of his return home he began to suffer excessive bleeding (from the head) where the wounds had turned to sepsis and had to be admitted as an emergency to our local hospital, losing a further 300ml of blood alone in the ambulance during the journey.
Following this dreadful experience he was too exhausted both in mind and body to tolerate further treatment and was admitted to our local hospice in December 2009, where he died of AIDS on 14 January 2010 at the tragically early age of 31. To make matters even worse, the undertakers refused to embalm his body as he had died of AIDS, but I now understand this to have been illegal as it is not on the list of communicable diseases from a dead body and, to paraphrase the heading of your article, I have been using the words ‘Dignity in Death’ throughout my correspondence with Liberty and the European Court of Human Rights. in an effort to obtain a ruling on this matter. Because of my involvement as a carer I was invited to a Consultation held by the Royal College of Nursing some weeks ao and they were appalled at the photographs of the head injuries and the lack of proper nursing care which caused them.
I recently completed his biography, not only for obvious therapeutic reasons, but in an effort to publicise the shortcomings of the NHS and to hopefully prevent others from suffering in the same way. I hope I may be fortunate in finding a sympathetic literary agent or publisher who will find this rather bleak story interesting enough to take up.

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Carole – Submitted on 06/06/2011

So sorry to hear of what your mom and your family went through. The NHS has a lot to answer for. My family encountered similiar situations in Ireland, such as end-stage cancer being diagnosed as anxiety/hysteria/depression. Needless to say, this “anxiety-ridden” person died of cancer, and the diagnosing GP is still in practice. Hopefully your blog will encourage others to speak up and not allow this negligence to continue. I firmly believe in suing the negligent parties invovled in these matters, not for monetary gain, but to let them know they cannot get away with this. Nobody is held accountable or responsible, they all hide behind protocol and paperwork, with not a caring bone in their bodies. I hasten to add that the families of these highly-paid consultants are treated in private hospitals when they are ill for obvious reasons. Maybe it’s about time the tax payers pounds were used to improve thehealthcare system and look after the ill instead of handing out benefit money to every scam artist in Europe

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Susan – Submitted on 06/06/2011

my heart goes out to you. My darling mother is in a nursing home which has recently come under investigation

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Carol – Submitted on 06/06/2011

In reply to Sinead.
Re PALS (Patient Liaision Service) I agree entirely that they are useless in terms of getting anything done. I realised after a while that their function seemed to be to absorb complaints not do anything about them. I would not waste my time contacting them.

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Fiona – Submitted on 06/06/2011

In reply to nikki cregg-briggs.
After reading Joanna’s diary (through a link from The Daily Mail online) I felt incredibly moved and emotional. My beloved father died in hospital last year aged 86, and certainly did not receive the care and dignity he deserved. Although he had underlying health issues, he was relatively well before he was admitted, but in the space of a week he had died from a pulmonary embolism. Because he had renal failure during the week, he became increasingly agitated and confused and the nursing staff including the sister were unable to fully understand this, even though they had been briefed by the specialist renal nurses, When I went to see him on the last evening before he died, as he was nil by mouth, he was supposed to have water to swab his mouth – but there was not a glass in sight. His mouth was incredibly dry and cracked. This one simple thing has broken me … to think this clever, witty, beautiful family man who had been in the medical profession himself should be reduced to this. Left without a glass of water. There was no communication at all from the nursing staff and we were under the impression that he would be out ofhospital the following week. The night he died, one of the nurses phoned to say he was in cardiac arrest and we had better come in but by the time we had arrived it was too late. We never had a chance to say goodbye to our wonderful father. Something we will never come to terms with. We eventually got a letter of apology from the hospital regarding the failure of care.

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Richard – Submitted on 06/06/2011

I have just read your article published in The Mail on Sunday, I am so sorry at what you and your dear Mother went through, alas we have been through the same horrible ordeal in hospital. Almost word for word deed by deed our experience was the same as yours, from a reasonably healthy Mother to her death for which I and my family hold the Hospital responsible for. The time table of our Mother’s suffering and degeneration ie her Heart, Kidney failure, loss of mobility and the other related health issues all occurred whilst in Hospital. This took place over a period of one month, but the lack of care/attention, Doctor communication was identical to yours, our poor Mother’s only complaint was to be admitted for bed rest and some treatment on a leg ulcer which needed dressing daily and the district nurses could not give the time to do so due to cost cuts in their service. The neglect that both our Mothers were subjected to was identical and unfortunately it seems this is the case for a lot more families. It is disgusting to treat anyone let alone our elderly like this. I complained to the Hospital etc and finally got a reply with almost the same wording as yours about six months after mum’s passing, I have written to the area health authorities, my MP and Mum’s GP but the apathetic response has been lamentable but i’m not letting it go, these people have got away with their lack of actions for to long and need exposing by as many as possible. If I get any significant response I will post another comment, but to anyone else keep complaining and don’t feel that you are being a nuisance in the Hospital, there are good nurses and doctors there but they seem at times very hard to find. God bless.

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Jack – Submitted on 05/06/2011

Joanna I can certainly emphasise with what you went through, my Dad was the same age as your Mum and it sounds like he had the same ideals in life as she did? He did his bit for King and Country and then came home and took any crap job that was on offer.He was never one for going to the doctors and probably cost the NHS less than a £100 in his lifetime..until his last six months. He had been going to his doctor with a problem for about 10 years and he had just brushed him off with tablets (which turned out be for something he didnt have), as things were coming to a head in the last year he was finally offered a blood test, which was for three months later. That blood test produced a further wrong diagnosis in which part of the treatment was wearing surgical stockings . After traipsing all over hospital for various tests we got to the stocking centre at 1045am they said “come back next week as we close at 11am”
..and that is my point really , you can have the best NHS and goverment breathing down their neck but if the humanity has gone then we might as well give up.
and my impression of the GPs is basically “oh well you have had 85 years,take it or leave it and dont expect us to help you have anymore”

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Nicky – Submitted on 05/06/2011

After reading your story I can barely believe it, it’s the mirror image of my fathers experience at stafford.

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Carole – Submitted on 05/06/2011

Sad though it is this account did not surprise me. I was a nurse for 44 years, retiring in 2002, and my experiences of “care” in the NHS from the other side of the fence ie as relative/visitor horrifies me. There are pockets of good practice but in general the service is abysmal. Nurses frequently don’t even know if a patient is in their ward let alone what is wrong with them. In one specialist hospital where my husband was a patient, it was a battle to get his intravenous antibiotics given on time- 3 hours late was not unusual, and his temperature was only taken regularly when he started recording it himself. It was well understood among relatives that you brought disinfectant wipes in to clean the lockers and other equipment as this was rarely done by anyone. I complained most days and did put this in writing. The mistake I made was in not sending a copy to the Chief Executive- I sent my letter to the Nurse Manager of the unit and nothing much changed. I felt I was having to nurse my husband myself- daily visits which meant a round trip of 60 miles. I also realised that some of the doctors were remarkably lacking in basic clinical skills and very few of them ever knew anything about my husband’s history or treatment. I am now terrified at the thought of ever having to go into hospital myself. I can only say to others- you MUST complain and insist on seeing someone above ward level if you don’t get satisfaction. Also keep a daily record of what the problems were, and what happened, with dates, times, and names. You can use your mobile to take photos, too. Some of these problems are partly due to lack of staff and/or too high a throughput of patients but nothing will change if relatives don’t speak up. Pity David Cameron and his colleagues never speak to ordinary people about their NHS experiences! We all know that neither they nor their families will be subject to this treatment. Now if we could take our business elsewhere………

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Stephanie – Submitted on 05/06/2011

Just had to reply after first reading this in todays
Sunday Mail, 5.6.11. With tears in my eyes I read what happened to your poor Mum and it bought back sad memories of what happened to my Dad because the same thing happened. Wont go into details as its a long sad story but my Dad died of neglect in a hospital in 1997 just before Christmas and he was only 65.

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Brenda – Submitted on 05/06/2011

Dear Joanna, reading your dairy about your mother brought everything back about what my late Father went thought. There again he had broken his hip. The operation went well. But things started to go wrong. He was trying to get up and walking when he wasn’t ready and fell again and broke his arm. One thing after another went wrong from then onwards. I was speaking to a friend of mine who is a geriatric consultant and she put it this way, old people are like a house of cards, you remove one and you don’t know what will happen to the rest. Sadly my Father died within six weeks of going into hospital.
Look after yourself.

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Nikki – Submitted on 05/06/2011

Joanna, I read your story in the mail today (5.6.11) and I cried because it reminded me so much of how my dad was treated in hospital. He died last march and whilst he had many underlying health conditions nothing prepared me for the total lack of care that he receieved. I am also in the caring profession and I was truely appalled by the staff. When a supposed professional rudely says, in her exact words I cannot say, that she cannot provide a service I believed then that the hospitals and their care had turned a wrong and frightening corner. My father was a proud man but right before my eyes I saw a man who had been broken; no one should have to see their parents be treated in this way and together we all need to stand up and fight. I lost not only my dad that night, but a man who meant more to me than I can ever say. Sadly I won’t be able to tell him, but i do believe that the care he recieved contributed to his sudden death. We as a family weren’t told the truth and even now some of his health concerns were a total surprise to us. Doctors are not Gods and need to be reminded of that fact before other families have to go through the unecessary suffering that their practices cause. I wanted my dad to die with dignity and grace but the hospital staff took this hope away from me and my family, instead leaving us with a very bitter taste in our mouths. I cannot believe in this day and age that patients are being treated with such disrespect and anyone in this so called caring profession should feel ashamed of themselves. I really do not know how they can live with themselves, knowing the pain and grief they have caused families.

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David – Submitted on 05/06/2011

I am so very very sorry to read your account. I lost my beloved mum in January after being in hospital for only a short time. Her treatment in the A&E was disgraceful and after
complaining, the Hospital acknowledged numerous failings. It
seems that while the natural reaction is to not ‘make trouble’, you simply have to keep on and on and on at the doctors and nurses to get even basic care. God help any elderly person who goes into hospital on their own and does not have a friend or relative to speak up for them.
Thank you for writing your account Joanna – hopefully it will do some good. I am sure your mum would be very proud of you and how you have brought this matter to public attention.

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Donna from Seattle = Submitted on 05/06/2011

My 85 year old Father lay swollen belly after surgery for 10 days in pain even though he had moraphin drip. I begged and pleaded for an xray to see what the problem was. Finally they reopened him to find the colon separated where they had cut out a tumor. He was shipped to a nursing home to die. I took him to Virginia Mason myself where they pulled him back to life with multiple anti-biotics. After being discharged to nursing home to recover he was neglected and I returned him to Virginia Mason. A two year battle after one surgery but because I was available to constantly monitor his condition he survives at age 89. Nursing homes can be concentration camp style with over medication to keep the elder quiet. If you have elders in care please monitor, take photo’s, notes. It is not right to let the elder die needlessly in pain and agony. Thank you for your stories.

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Kay – Submitted on 05/06/2011

I can certainly relate to your sad story. my mum at 96 was in hospital for four months and the care was dreadful. one weekend there was so few staff a sister was having to take my mum to the toilet, good on her but what a waste of that sisters qualification. she fell out of bed three times and out of the chair similar amount of times. the only person who told me were other patients.she had gone in for a broken hip which was successfully operated on.they discharged her with inadequate care in her home and fell again in the middle of the night on day of discharge. godhelp us all, this has been going on for years and looks like it is going to continue unfortunately.

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Zena – Submitted on 05/06/2011

My yiddisha mother went through a very similar situation in Margate Hospital in 2002.
I wish that I would have kept a diary then.

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Linda – Submitted on 05/06/2011

Just read your diary in the Mail on Sunday. I am crying reading the horrific time your Mum and all of you went through at the caring hands of the NHS. My late father went through more or less the same thing 3 years ago. The pain of their suffering never leaves you and when you read somebody’s suffering it’s yours all over again. We need to go back to old fashion nursing methods where patients are treated with dignity and humanity not a commodity or business as is the case these days. Take heart you and your family are not alone. Thank you for publishing your diary and I hope the people at the top especially ministers will read it and do something about this treatment of our old people in hospitals.

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Trevor – Submitted on 05/06/2011

I read the article in the paper, and was very close to tears. Being a nurse myself and now retired, I wonder what has happened to the nursing profession. Uncaring, Unfeeling, totally undignified the way patients are treated. I have bad experience of my own treatment, luckily I was able to get up and go home.
No use complaining to the NHS anymore, because they give you a standard reply i.e. They have reviewed procedures. You will get no where with a complaint. If you had been caring for your mum at home in such conditions and neglect, the Social services would have probably prosecuted you. The putting away of your mums soiled nightdress into the bedside locker unwrapped, is neglect in itself, and unforgivable. I make no wonder infection was rife on the ward. If that was a state of hygiene. It makes me wonder if Staff ever washed their hands between patients. Dirty nightware should be sluiced before being put into a polythene bag. The comment made by Dr Max Pemberton truly amazed me that the staff may not have noticed your mothers deterorating condition. Poppycock! The man wants flogging! If the staff are not aware of patients condition, then there is really no point in being a patient in the hospital.
When we read of such problems on the wards. one patient is merely the tip of the iceberg. There would have been many more pateints in the same position and being neglected. However, the lucky ones recovered quickly and got home.
I am not a believer in letting Male Nurses on female wards, management may have modern idea’s, but many elderly and others are not keen. and it can mean a loss to their dignity. (I may be very old fashioned but the consideration of the patient must always be taken into account) I think your mums treatment was neglectful and criminal.
The over looking of the doctors orders to take your mum off the saline infusion is to my mind physical assault, especially as they suspected due to other circumstances her Kidneys were not functioning well. I would not complain to the hospital, but would have gone directly to the Police Station.
I truly was deeply saddened to read it all. and I do wish you all the very best
Kindest regards

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Sarah – Submitted on 05/06/2011

Reading your harrowing story brought back the memories of the time our dear Mum was in and out of hospital and having respite care in a nursing home. My heart goes out to you and your family and to all of those who are affected by poor treatment of our loved ones by our supposedly good NHS. In the end, Mum wanted to die rather than go back to hospital for treatment. She didn’t want me to complain while she was alive as she thought they would take it our on her! When she had passed away, after keeping a detailed diary of here hospital stays, I wrote a long letter of complaint to the hospital and contacted the CQC but, after months of corresponding, I decided to drop it as I didn’t seem to be getting the answers I wanted and the stress was making me ill. I even contemplated going to the press, radio, local TV station, but Mum wouldn’t have wanted that. I felt I had to complain as I fear for the elderly being treated at that hospital who don’t have family to speak up for them. Something seriously has to change with the way the elderly and vulnerable are treated in our hospitals and care facilities. It is a shocking state to be in considering we are in the 21st century.

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Brian – Submitted on 05/06/2011

My condolensces on your loss. My mother was “killed” by the NHS in 2001. She went into hospital to have a pacemaker fitted, they gave her a massive dose of antibiotics to cure pneumonia that a junior doctor had “diagnosed” and then put her on a general ward an hour before it was closed due to infection. She contracted Cdiff. but was not treated for 2 weeks, instead left to lie in her own faeces by bak nurses who couldn’t be bothered. She suffered a slow and agonising death the same as your story. While she was alive her cardiologist and other staff at the hospital told me to make a complaint and that they would back me up, after my mother died and I made the complaint they all changed their stories and altered the notes to cover up what was and seems still to be common bad practice.

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Marlin – Submitted on 09/02/2011

Reading this brought back alot of memories of when mom was sick and in the hospital Ive worked in the hospitals for 49 yrs Ive seen so much but you have written down this for yourself and your mom Its very sad . Thanks for sharing your memories

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Maurice – Submitted on 29/01/2011

What a horrific story! Poor Auntie Kay. I feel so bad for her and the children.
It’s a tale of medical incompetance more than anything else, it would seem – the traditional medical model run amok where patients and their families are to be tolerated (barely) and certainly not consulted.
The hospital involved should be named and shamed. Sounds almost as bad as in the USA only there you lose your life savings as a perquisite.

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Mrs Helen Fox, London

What happened to Kay is only the tip of the iceburg. Kay was my aunt and a very dignified lady she was let down by the NHS, but not by her daughters, Joanna’s account in her blog was true and we should be aware of what can happen when we go into hospital, sadly keeping a diary could not save Kay but lets hope the words do help to save eldrly patients in the future. More must be done, good training and care could have given Kay and patients like her more time.

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Joceyne , London, 5/6/2011

The NHS have a lot to answer for.I have been having treatment at the same hospital as my Aunty Kay for the last 5 years and I thank G-d for it,other wise I wouldn’t be here.The fantastic. staff who give me my treatment on a regular basses were two nurses down last time I was there,and will not be replaced.They are always very busy and over worked,they get 15-30mins break to eat thier lunch,but am told that now some days they get no break all day.That can’t be right,no wonder nurses are leaving the profession and the NHS are having to bring in nurses from private agencies,and having to pay them a hell of a lot more. Why don’t we use lottery money to pay our wonderful staff so they can give sick people the time and care they need,if the govermet can’t.

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ELIZABETH

Hello Joanna, your diary in the Mail moved me so very much because I experienced near-identical deterioration with my late dad 3 years ago and, like you, questioned everything and just got evasive answers! I feel 100% for what you must have gone through, Joanna, in your dealings with the hospital and the agonising changes in your mum.
My great aunt Lily was 92 when she went into hospital, she looked a bit like your mum, in fact you could be family!! Sadly, I have never seen such deterioration in anyone so fast and the inability to eat and drink was scary. She never made it to 93 within just a few weeks. And Dad was 81 when he went into hospital with a breathing problem, they sorted that out but kept him in week after week, tests were delayed,then when they did happen results were vague, staff not around when I asked for them, etcetc, you know exactly.
To add insult to injury Dad had worked there for 20 years in the eye clinic, being a well known local self-employed optician for 50 years in north London and in the 70s top of his profession, meetings, lectures etc. To see him lolling about in that ward, treated like a number, not a person, was unbelievable, and of course they just drug them up all the time. I warned Dad that if he stayed he would never leave, I begged him to discharge himself, but he stubbornly refused. To make matters even worse he had private insurance yet refused to go private as he did for his heart bypass in 2006! After he passed away I met with the consultant, researched everything related to Dad’s condition online so I would know what to say, I asked lots of pertinent questions about drug dosages and risks to people over 80 and so on, but, like you, did not get any sort of definitive answers. I also found – and you may not know this – that they keep old people in hospital when they get frail in case they can’t be looked after properly at home! This stunned me as Mum and I are here!! And Dad was working as best he could, refusing to retire!
It’s all a long long story as you can imagine and so when I read your diary I was in tears of both sympathy and frustration at what’s going on in 21st century Britain.
Joanna, you have my very best wishes and I really sincerely hope that by publicising your case in the media that it will help bring these harrowing cases to light. ELIZABETH

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Linda, france

This is disgraceful and it is about time that nursing professionals stopped blaming staffing numbers and admitted that standards of care are at an all time low. when i trained as a nurse in the UK in 1964 we often had just 2 nurses on duty to look after a nightingale ward of 30 patients. These were treated with care and compassion always fed and watered and cleaned knidly and with a smile. we didn’t end up with degrees but wereproud to be SRN’s at the end of our training. I now live in France where the standard of health care is second to none. About time the UK stopped propping up a non- functioning NHS and looked to its European neighbour for a model that works, then perhaps horrendous tales like this one will stop,and something good might come from this poor ladies suffering.

*****

Magz, Glasgow, Scotland, 5/6/2011

A disgraceful way to treat another human being, sadly this is becoming only too common in lots of hospitals across the U.K. While visiting a friend in hospital two years ago, as I came out of the lift there was a filthy mop bucket with an even filthier mop perched on it, in full view for all to see, everyone was looking at it and passing comment. While in the ward visiting, a patient buzzed for a nurse, nobody appeared, the lady staredt being sick, I went over to try and help, then went to find a nurse, who told me “she’ll be attended to after the staff teabreak” which was twenty minutes later. In their attempts to clean up, YES, the filthy mop and bucket were brought into the ward and used. On my way out, the mop and bucket had been put on the corridor, outside the ward, not washed out. While visiting the same friend three weeks ago in the same ward, as I entered the ward, the first thing I seen was, YES, a filthy mop & bucket. What did the NHS say about infection control ?

*****

Penny Jaquet, Cheltenham, Gloucester

I am under the impression that all nurses now have to have degrees or slightly lesser qualifications to become a nurse. This seems to have produced a large number of nurses who seem to think that the prime reason for them being nurses, ie caring for, washing, clearing up after and providing compassion as well as knowledge, is in fact beneath them. My father too suffered at the hands of these so called “nurses” in a number of wards while he was dying. He fell from the bed and my mother had to pick him up, she was 73 and 5ft nothing. He was washed by her, fed by her and nursed by her. And she was a real nurse, one trained in the forties and fifties, not like these educated ignorant women who fill the wards now. Compassion, intuition and vocation, that last word almost lost now, are the true qualifications of a nurse, not a piece of paper that says how educated you may be. God rest Kay Klein, my father and all the others so mistreated and abused.

*****

laffer 57, Blackpool uk,

How bad is that Ive always had an admiration for the hospitals i’ve had dealings with but my own recent visit was a joke I attended my appointment had a good examination of all my joints and an x ray (all for a swollen knee), my next appointment to have fluid drained was made I attended only to be told that I should have had an appointment an hour earlier – because the fluid was sent off at 9.30 to Manchester and I’d missed that (they’d made the appointment), so another appointment was made for the next week upon which the doctor arrived an hour late, when I asked the nurse about it being to late to send of the fluid – she said why would they send it off when they could do it here in the path lab , when the doctor arrived to do my knee he never mentioned it was to late to do it – but did point out that since they had lost my notes he was not to sure about what treatment I had had and to give me at this point I lost the will to live am waiting now to see what my next appointment brings

*****

Maria zucconi, Greenford,

Disgusting and typical, sadly we suffered the same treatment in a nhs hospital not so far from you. After many letters of complaint we were also told they would review there procedures. We live in a multicultural environment why is it that the nurses who have the closet care to the patients have such bad English in our experience. I myself had trouble understanding them at points and I am English. The day of a caring nurse has been replaced with the excuses of over worked and short staffed as we witnessed lazy and not wanting to dirty there hands. We were told in the 21 century that as a result of our concerns equipment would now be tested before use to see if it was working and that better patient/relations with doctors and nurses would be improved. I hope one day the nurses in question will be cared for the same way they cared for others.

*****

M Bennett,

I know that this is not an isolated incident. I am a nurse and am sickened by the sub standard and inhumane treatment of both patients and relatives. I work for the NHS and fight always to maintain standards and be an advocate for patients. Too often nurses are asked and expected to work in an environment that is not safe ,effective or efficient. We are managed under performance targets that reflect little on patient experience but an example of bungling, juggling and bureaucracy. Nurses are blamed but this should be measured not a blanket application. As a nurse I advise any colleague to observe the basic principal of “treat others as you would wish to be treated. Question practices and authority. Remember the Nuremberg trials . A defence of ” we were following orders” is no defence. If Nurses stood strong and firm we could change this descent into the bowels of degradation.

*****

Michael,

Both my mother and mother in law died in similar miserable circumstances. Whilst we fritter away what wealth still remains upon useless foreign wars I fear this will ultimately be the fate of most of us should we have the great misfortune to fall into the clutches of the NHS.

*****

Yvonne, Gloucestershire

What a sad sad state this Country has come to, you think you are going into hospital to be taken care of and made better, but the sad fact is that older people are just given upon. I am 78yrs old and am frightened to death that something will happen to me, and i have to go into hospital. The Sister i spoke about in the other statement i made, told me herself that she had been a Nurse and Sister for 30 odd years, but she had to spend more time on working in her office rather than doing the job she was trained for. What has our NHS come to, it is such a sad state of affairs, and things are bought out into the open, and its all news for a few days, and then it is forgotten about again. Yvonne

*****

MJW, Yorkshire,

Interesting that the doctor says relatives shouldn’t be afraid to challenge doctors. When my mum-in-law was in hospital in her final illness, we saw a junior doctor on the ward once in 3 weeks of daily visits. Finally after several attempts, we managed to see her consultant just before she died. The phrase ‘Chance would be a fine thing’ comes to mind. The problem she was admitted for improved, but she didn’t recover and was distressed to be told repeatedly that she wasn’t trying hard enough. A brief examination would have revealed she was near the end stage of heart failure. Instead, despite being terribly weak, she was taken home to be assessed for discharge and I went with her. The furious attending physiotherapist sent her straight back, and heart failure was finally diagnosed. She died just 5 days later. I think the hospital medics ignored her symptoms because they just wanted to free up the bed, and they didn’t take the slightest bit of notice of the family’s concerns.

*****

Derek, Espana,

This bought back the similar circumstances of my mothers death at the hands of the NHS. She fell and fractured her hip in Brighton, was making a good recovery & then received the first dose of C-Diff. Managed to beat that only to be re-infected again. She died at the age of 86 some 8 months after her fall in a ‘nursing’ home riddled with bed sores & her dignity gone. Why do we let the authorities get away with institutional manslaughter?

*****

Donna Essex

This is just a FEW things that happened to Dad. Had an operation did not feel well, he had a high temp. and back pain. We spoke to nurses and doctors. they advised us he as ok to be released. He was out a few days and had kidney failure.They left an uncapped intravenous needle in for over fours days. Left his catheter clamped in error for over four hours after having an x-ray. He was going yellow, his abdomen was swollen and he as complaining his insides were being pushed up. They did not inform us of this my Mum overheard them talking. They left tablets in his bed on one ward and on his table 5 times on another ward. He got c-diff twice while in hospital and septicemia. Left him in his own faeces. The wards were dirty including his room. They failed to give him an air mattress/ failed their resusication policy. Any family that go through this know’s what a nightmare it is. It took a lot of work to get Basildon Hospital to admitt their failings. I have now gone to the Ombudsman.

*****

HD, hants

OMG. I can see the mirror of what you have said happening to my step mum now. She went in with cracked rib and broken arm and 12 weeks later they released her to die at home. She wasnt ill and isnt now just gone beyond the line of no return to get better. I cant show this article to my dad, it would break his heart. And to cap it all the hospital even lost her treasured wedding ring.

*****

mosey, down in the countryside,

Its a dreadful state of affairs and one that I believe is common in the wards that accommodate the elderly. We get second rate treatment, nursing is a farce these days, there is no actual nursing done any longer. Its up to the family to maintain cleanliness and ensure that their loved ones have something to eat and drink. My 93 year old father, couldn’t hold a mug, he was too weak, yet the so called nurses would put it on the table and walk away. The same with food. I now would refuse to go into hospital if I was older than 70, or I would sell my house to have anything done privately!

*****

Shicked, Rugby,

This article has reduced me to tears and confirms my experiences when my Nan, in her 80s, was in hospital a few years ago. Had it not been for my sister, a senior nurse working for another Trust, my Nan would have not even had basic care. We had to ask/fight for everything. Care of the elderly in hospitals is, in my experience, extremely poor. There just aren’t enough staff to ensure basic care. So why do they have such restricted visiting hours? Increase them and let relatives in to care.

*****

mick blair, thailand,

Reading this and knowing the treatment my own wife received at the hands of the NHS, my advice to anyone in Britain is do not enter an NHS hospital for fear for your life. if you can raise the money go to any other country in the world for treatment, which you may have to pay for, though i believe EU countries give UK passport holders free care. Or put up with the pain. You WILL have a far better chance of survival and most definitely better care than you will get in Britain. NHS Managers ha ha take the cash out of the hospitals and the staff such as there are are left with the crumbs.

*****

Yvonne,

I am so sad to read this about Kay. My Husband died in Oct last year and i also kept a diary of what i saw, when i went in every day, and i did challenge the staff and Sister on this one day when i went in and he had, had a fall, they had put him on his bed and just left him there. I took my phone out and took three photo’s of him, but the Sister came and asked me to delete them, because i was causing a fuss i was asked to go into the Sister’s office where i was again asked to delete the pictures from my phone, i said i didnt know how, so she had a nurse come in and she deleted them. But within minutes of me being taken into that office, there was a nurse sitting by my Husbands bed, and she said he would have one to one, and also the Consultant was coming down to see him within the hour, he ordered a scan for the next morning. But what got me was the lack of care shown by the nurses. I also told the Sister about the lack of care, but she said they were short staffed. Yvonne

5 Responses

  1. HELLO all i can say is that i;m on death row my case as been cover up by gmcuk & phso cqc it was the start of my fight for justice i got a E/MAIL saying DON’T LOOK TO FAR BUT M.P ANDREW LANSLEY HAD YOUR CASE COVERED UP i have been arrested 3 time but the IPCC as been to my home saying i have not been arrested what lies cum out the police as had me in the POLICE station be 4 we start MR PAUL JACKMAN if you feel ill at 1 point will you go out side i look at her and say what for to die SHE LOOK AND SAY YES so now the police know my case is 2nd degree murder but want nothing to do with my case

    Like

  2. Sarah says:

    2007. Following spinal surgery on L5/S1 I developed a huge CSF leak which almost killed me, this was repaired twice and I contracted meningitis. I continued to leak despite the repairs and relocated back to the UK. I have been under 7 hospitals and 11 specialists and been told over and over that I have migraines. Eventually after attempting suicide twice and feeling so very sick I went to the USA to see a specialist who confirmed I had 6 CSF spinal leaks! I was fixed and got my life back for almost a year! Then following yet more surgery I started leaking again. Now I’m back on the chase to find someone to treat me. During all these years I’ve been left in a urine soaked bed, left on a bathroom floor for over an hour after falling off the toilet with a seriously bruised back and probable damage to my coccyx due to extremely poor nursing and after complaining to the trust been refused further treatment by my consultant. The nhs have treated me despicably!
    I would also like to express how very sorry I am to Angie For the appalling loss of her daughter Georgina. I have two sons with Chiari and cannot begin to understand how lost and distressed she must be feeling. My heart goes out to you Angie, and your family

    Like

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