Dame Julie Mellor, the NHS Ombudsman responsible for handling complaints against the NHS, has revealed details of incidents and complaints of which she is particularly critical. She has identified 130 cases where the NHS had provided poor care and inadequate responses to concerns raised by patients and their families.
One particularly poor incident occurred in Birmingham when staff at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust denied access to a patient’s children to see her before she died. Ms G was admitted to A&E unconscious and her family were told to wait outside the booth. The curtain remained closed for over 5 hours, during which time Ms G suffered multiple heart attacks and eventually died. At no point were the family told of what was going on nor were they allowed to see their mother before she passed away. The incident was exacerbated by the fact that the family had “heard nursing staff mock the state of Ms G’s skin”, according to the report.
The family made a complaint using the hospital’s own process, but it took 5 months before the family received a response and a further 2 months for a follow up meeting to be arranged.
Other examples from around the country included within Dame Mellor’s damning report include a patient being left for a total of 75 hours before receiving appropriate care in Stoke and a kidney cancer patient in Walsall left in pain whilst dying because his medication was not available.
If you, or anyone you know has been affected by poor care and medical negligence, contact our specialist solicitors on 0800 316 8892 (James.Edmondson@clarkewillmott.com).