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dad died in hospital was it neglect ? can you help please !


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This is a long story but i will keep it as short as possible and get to the point.

but can you please give me some advice as im not sure what to do next.


My dad aged 69 was admitted into a nhs hospital on may 7th just gone.

he suffered with c.o.p.d for the last 2 years.

and about 3 weeks ago started to complain of stomach pains which made his breathless alot worst,


on the 7 th may 2012 we called for an ambulance, as he was in such pain and every time he stood up his sats would drop,


we went into the hospital A&E, he told them about this pain in his stomach they examined his tummy and he said it was very tender and painful to the touch,

the doctors decicide to send him for a chest x-ray,


the result of this x-ray came back, they said he had a chest infection, and would need some antibiotics and would need to stay in hospital,

he was then transferred to the medical admissions ward where we saw another doctor,


he said their wasnt any chest infection and the x-ray was the same as the one he had done one month before,

but they would treat him as thou he had a chest infection.


less and than 4 hours he was moved to another ward called the wellington, all this time so far he was complaining of the tummy pains.

every time he moved or tried to walk. again i felt this was ignored,


the Tuesday night he had such pain they thought he was having a heart attack,

they did a E C G this showed he was NOT having a heart attack,

yet again they did not investigate the pain or anything else.


on the wednesday he said he might be coming home on the thursday, even thou he had this pain.


. the thursday morning we had a phone call from the hospital to say can we go to him as he was in pain,

when we arrived, he had vomited a lot of blood

the remains of which was up the bed curtains and on his top.


we asked what the hell was going on the doctor explained that he had a ruptured viscus. ( ruptured stomach ulser)

and that he needed a operation.


but by this point he was to weak to have a operation so there was nothing they could do except keep him comfortable.


by 5.30pm he passed away it took the doctor until 6.30pm to comfirm this.


Not once did they investigate the pain he was having, nor did they treat him for the pain he was getting at that time.

they did treat him for a chest infection that he didnt have. and this cost him his life.


if told them about this pain once he told them 50 times nothing was done..


the coroner telephoned and asked if we were happy with the cause of death that being a ruptured viscus,

as he was happy to do a post mortam, because he had died of something he wasnt being treated for.


we said yes we were happy with the cause of death and that we didnt want a pm,

it then took a week for the hospital to release his body to the undertakers.


i feel that he was let down by the nhs in a big way and that there is some kind of neglect.

but i want answers why his pain was ignored and nothing done about it. mainly for closure.


do you think this was a neglect or not.


can you help and advice me on what to do next even get the answers that i need.


i have e.mailed the chairman at the hospital but as No reply from the hospital.


sorry this was long and thank you for reading it. lesley.

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Hi, I'm sorry to hear of your loss!!


This situation really needs to be dealt

with by a qualified professional, to assess

if a complaint regarding the care given in

hospital was adequate.


I'm sorry to say that you have lost a lot of

impetus by refusing the PM which may have

revealed information on factors other than the



You will find that the hospial NHS Trust will

have in place a mechanism for such complaints,

I suugest you should go through those procedures.

Any Letters I Draft are N0T approved by CAG and no personal liability is accepted.

Please Consider making a donation to keep this site running!

Nemo Mortalium Omnibus Horis Sapit: Animo et Fide:

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Prpfessional arrogance, some practitioners

will not countenance a challenge to their

original dianosis, eg my then 7 months old

great grandson was sent home from our

local ''University Hospital ''by a paediatric

registrar who maintained he only had a cold,

he in fact had pneumonia, this woman then

even disagreed with the labs results.

Any Letters I Draft are N0T approved by CAG and no personal liability is accepted.

Please Consider making a donation to keep this site running!

Nemo Mortalium Omnibus Horis Sapit: Animo et Fide:

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they were told several times by myself and espeically by my dad, if you tell 12 doctors over 3 days and nothing is done except go on about his c o p d. or look at his hand. being used as a test subject for other doctors, what else are you meant to do. the medical profession is meant to be a highly trained brunch of professionals, you all know you can shout until your blue in the face, but if a doctor decides that a test or examination isnt needed then you arent going to get one.

the doctors were fully awear of my dads pain, yet chose to ignore it.

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Lesh45. Your informative account makes very painful very reading, indeed. Please may I add my commiserations to those already expressed here.


In addition to comments already made, there are several contributors to this forum who have medical knowledge far better than mine, and perhaps one may hope they might be able to shed some light on how, what seems to me at least on the basis of what you have said, such a disastrous failure of diagnosis and communication could be explained as remotely adequate care. I don't see it.


I've looked for info on the net, as we do day these days. There's loads of it, of course, but – for the layman at least – this seemed to me a reasonably concise, and, in this context, incisive summary:-




Regrets, but, if you haven't already done so, I think it is probably time to find a solicitor, if you possibly can. There are some very serious questions that need answers here, and you will need help getting them. Best wishes.

Edited by nolegion
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My heartfelt condolences on the loss of your father.


Many of us contributing to this forum will have had similar experiences to yours. We too thought that those who were caring for our loved ones were highly trained professionals who knew what they were doing. Probably some are, but it's hard to go on believing when experience dictates otherwise.


My advice is to put your complaint in writing to the hospital CEO. I learned to skip PALS as I felt they added no value whatsoever to the process.


I would also do an Access to Health Records request




for the period concerned. You want all data - X-ray results, ward notes, everything. There will probably be a charge. If you do it now the hospital will have less time to lose things.


Like Nolegion, I too feel that you should have had a PM, but that cannot be altered now. It's tough making decisions in the middle of shock and grief.


The response from the hospital - which I believe should be within 30 days - together with the notes (if you can bear to read them), will give you a better idea of where you stand.


Most of us who have gone through this process find the hospital will do anything not to accept blame, which just adds to the pain. We have 'learned lessons' seems to be a standard response template. If this happens you must decide what outcome you are seeking. Justice, accountability and prevention of recurrence would be top of my list.


If you are unhappy with the response from the hospital, there is always the Ombudsman. I wish I could offer you some hope and consolation is this organisation, but I have none. Like the GMC, I'm not sure they exist to protect the patient, past or future. The alternative is a solicitor. Maybe a 'no win, no fee' could be an option.


Whichever you chose, it is a long, weary, heart-breaking road and you will need all your reserves of strength.


You will feel anger and bitterness and I hope you can channel it to a positive result.


One thing is certain, events like these change your whole view of the world, not just the NHS.


I wish you well.

Edited by Sali
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I am really sorry to hear about your loss, especially given the circumstances.


Was there anything pointing to your dad having an ulcer previously, such as heart burn or reflux, and were any prescriptions such as antacids or proton pump inhibitors prescribed?

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  • 4 weeks later...

thanks for all your replies. firstly. No there was no signs, even dad didnt know what was going on. he was complaining a pain in his stomach which he told the consultants on the ward and in the A&E department. no he was not on any tablets for his tummy even thou he was put on high doses of steroids.

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  • 1 month later...

Hello Lesley,


So sorry to hear about your fathers poor care. This happened to my father in 2008, same scenario, no PM. The hospital listed the cause of death as lung cancer, not the acute abdomen emergency. I'll help you if I can.


Regards Ann

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just a update to the above. i have today been incontact with the c.a.b with the view of suing for the death of my dad. but first i need to speak to someone to get some sound advice. if anyone from here icould help me with any advice i would be really grateful. and thanks for all the post so far.

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Hello again.


Which aspect are you looking for advice on please? And it would help us if you can give us an idea of what the CAB said.


If I was thinking of suing someone, I would be speaking to lawyers, but caggers have suggested other avenues for you as well as that.


My best, HB

Illegitimi non carborundum




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If you are intending suing for clinical negligence you really will need a lawyer who specialises in this sort of claim. Any claim against hospitals/Drs tend to be long drawn out affairs and can get very technical. A combination of medicine and legalities is a very complicated mix.

If I have been of any help, please click on my star and let me know, thank you.

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Indeed so, you must seek a barrister or preferably a QC via an experinced solicitor well versed in medical jurisprudence!!!

Any Letters I Draft are N0T approved by CAG and no personal liability is accepted.

Please Consider making a donation to keep this site running!

Nemo Mortalium Omnibus Horis Sapit: Animo et Fide:

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sorry for your loss,


I know how you feel, have been through a terrible time with the NHS regarding my Mum, l have posted the story on here, we did insist on a Pm and it came back that she died of a fall in the hospital, they said she only fell because she had the bleed to the brain first, we have been through an inquest, had reports from the hospital trusts, a serious incident report, we have complained by letter and had a meeting, we still have not had our questions answered, good luck with the NHS mechanism for complaints,they seem to me only their to protect themselves and are not really any help at all.

It seems to me we all must keep writing out stories and inform the newspapers, they hate the publicity, but feel this is the only way there will be any change.

If a regular person mistreated a person, neglected them and caused their death they would be charged with manslaughter.

Good luck and keep at it and l sincerely hope you get all the answers.


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