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This is in danger of being long winded so I will try to break it down as much as possible.

 

Christmas eve my mum had a fall at home and was unable to get up as she was in so much pain. A ambalance took her to her local hospital where they gave her xrays and told her she had torn a muscle,they kept her in over night just to keep watch.

 

Christmas eve they discharged mum even though she was unable to stand up we had to wheel her to the car in a wheelchair which they would not let us hire. On arrival to mums house we had to go and get a dinning room chair and carry her into the house as she was unable to walk.

 

Mum spent the next 7 days at home unable to move from her armchair and having

to do bodily functions in a bucket. The pain was so great that mum was taken back to the hospital where it was discovered that she had in fact broken her hip.

 

At this point we put a complaint to the hospital trust as to why this had happened.

 

Mum was transfered to another hospital to have the hip replaced she was given the option to go under general or have an epidurel but was strongly advised to have the latter because of other health issues.

 

Mum had the op and all was ok so she was transfered back to the original hospital.

While here mum had a chest infection which was treated . In the mean time they were giving mum physio and trying to get her mobile. Mum struggled with this and was in constant pain so they gave her another xray which was 13 day after the op and they discovered that the op had failed (mums bones were too weak ) and the hip was still broken.

 

The next thing we know mum phones us on her mobile that she was being taken back to where the op was done they then done another op as soon as she got there (under general where as the 1st one they said would be risky) no member of family was informed by the hospital of any 2nd op.

 

Mum came around from the op but the following day was put on total life support with multipal organ failiure and septicimia. Life support was shut down 7 days later and mum passed.

 

Where do we go from here? we have not had an answer from the 1st trust as to why mum was sent home with a broken hip but we now have issues with both hospitals who are in different parts of london. Is there a body that will investigate both hospitals under one complaint? We don`t want compensation we just want truthful answers. Mum spent the last 5 weeks of her life in agony we deserve that and so does she.

 

 

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My deepest sympathy to you and your family. I lost my sister in 2011, although your mum and my sister didn't have the same illness, they both died the same way, sepsis and life support, so I totally understand your heartache and we too are in a simIliar situation, our case is with the procurator fiscal (CPS Scottish equivalent)

anyway we first reported our complaint to the hospital

ombudsman who investigated and responded unsatisfactorily to our

complaint. The next step is an independant complaints

commissioner 0300 456 2370 (London area)

You can also sue them by using a specialist malpractice solicitor (google should I sue the NHS) they will do it for no

win no fee.

I'm so sorry you've suffered and those @&"#%+ should be

hauled over the coals for what they have done x

It can take a long time- stick with it and good luck xx

scotgal 

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I too am extremely sorry for your loss.

 

You cannot go to the Ombudsman until you have been through the hospital's complaints process.

 

My advice - and I've been in your situation - is to apply for all your mum's medical records (specifically request x-rays etc) for the period of events. I would suspect that you will have to do this through both the hospitals that treated your mum. PALS will be able to inform you of the process. There will be a charge.

 

I would be tempted to suggest that you get your data before making your official complaint, because hospitals have a tendency to lose information that incriminates them. Although, the data request will alert them to a possible claim. Make your formal complaint directly to the Chief Exec. PALS are just a go-between as far as I can gather. I found them next to useless.

 

Reading the data will be painful, but it will help you to better understand the course of events.

 

I understand your need to know exactly what happened. It's a way of trying to make sense of such a terrible tragedy. However, despite the report from Mid-Staffs, don't expect this to be easy. The hospitals' management will probably respond in a very neutral way, offering sympathy but accepting no blame. They may invite you to meet with them. If you do attend, take somebody with you. Have a list of questions prepared that you want answered. If it were me, I would also covertly record the conversation (I would not ask for permission because they would probably spout some data protection rubbish or say it was against policy - and you are not in a position to make an on the spot challenge).

 

If you are unhappy with the hospital's final response to your complaint you can go to the Ombudsman. I would like to offer you a little crumb of comfort in this organisation's wish to defend and protect patients, but I cannot. The Ombudsman process takes months before you even know whether they will investigate your case. The only other course of action if this fails and you are still sane is to go to judicial review.

 

My own experiences left me with no trust or confidence in my local hospital or any part of the complaints process. The reports in the news recently about hospital management paying gagging money to their subordinates, doctors and nurses or persecuting whistleblowers is, to most of us, no surprise.

 

My heart goes out to you. It may be a long and weary road.

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Sorry I missed the bit out about the hospitals own complains procedure we went through, Sali is correct about the ombudsman and the long and weary road. I know money isn't the motivation for you, we haven't asked for anything other than someone to say sorry! But I think financial Loss to the NHS, is the only language they respond to. Can you ring up try CPS and find out about

an inquest x

scotgal 

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Thank you all for your advice and kind words I very much appreciate it. At least now I have an idea of the first steps I need to take which is of great help. Thanks once again x

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Very sorry for your loss.

I agree with Sali in that you should forget about PALS as they work for the hospital, the first thing you should do is apply for copies of the medical records/xrays and covertly record all meetings/telephone conversations (such recordings are totally legal and admissable as evidence). Xrays should be digital, provided on a CD and cost about £10.

Again, very sorry for your loss.

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Thanks Paul and once again all that have replied

 

The complaint that we have put in and has reached its time scale was met with the response that since mum was mentally able to complain by her self our complaint has now been thrown out and since mum has died we need to resubmit the complaint. The question I now have is when we ask for all records etc do we ask in the same format of a SAR?

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Thanks Paul and once again all that have replied

 

The complaint that we have put in and has reached its time scale was met with the response that since mum was mentally able to complain by her self our complaint has now been thrown out and since mum has died we need to resubmit the complaint. The question I now have is when we ask for all records etc do we ask in the same format of a SAR?

Hi,

Before you resubmit your complaint you need to get the medical records. I don't think the Data Protection Act applies to the data of deceased persons so a SAR would just be returned to you. I would apply for the records as quietly as posssible to the medical records officer at the hospitals concerned under the Access to Health Records Act. (I think this is right but will check later today when I have more time). Hold back on resubmitting your complaint until you have the records because you don't want to ask questions in the future that you don't already have the answer to.

Just checked: Access to deceased persons medical records is governed by the Access to Health Records Act 1990.

Edited by Paul Heathcote
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Hi sticky29,

 

I am so sorry for your loss. What happened to your mum is absolutely dreadful.

 

I would go straight to a lawyer specializing in medical negligence. You will need all the medical records. You do not have to wait for the Ombudsman before you instruct a lawyer. Do not go to anyone who offers you a quick £15,000. You need expert advice from one of the larger, established firms who specialize in this field, and most will not require you to pay anything up front.

 

DD

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Hi sticky29,

 

I am so sorry for your loss. What happened to your mum is absolutely dreadful.

 

I would go straight to a lawyer specializing in medical negligence. You will need all the medical records. You do not have to wait for the Ombudsman before you instruct a lawyer. Do not go to anyone who offers you a quick £15,000. You need expert advice from one of the larger, established firms who specialize in this field, and most will not require you to pay anything up front.

 

DD

 

That's exactly what not to do - very bad advice.

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Sorry, although obviously the Ombudsman must be allowed to give a ruling, there is no harm in consulting a lawyer at this stage.

 

It is a personal opinion, of course, but I would speak to a lawyer.

The Ombudsman doesn't have to give any sort of ruling at all. There is harm in consulting a lawyer at this stage.

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Thanks for the replys it is very much appreciated. I will apply for medical records first and see what they unearth if anything then just take it from there I guess. Thanks again all.

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There are a number of issues involved here and it would appear that your mother suffered from underlying health issues which may have contributed to her death. However, missing your mothers broken hip is unacceptable and shouldn't have happened. Whether this contributed to her death, however, is not clear and would require further questions to be asked. Any surgical procedure has associated risks and these only increase with age and declining health.

 

My recommendation would be initially to contact PALS at first and make a complaint in writing asking for answers to the questions you have raised. This can be done by searching for your local PALS (Patient Advisory Liason Service) office (I can't post a link so just search the internet for PALS) - you will need to begin a complaint if you decide to instruct a solicitor are the response will form part of the evidence for any potential claim so this is the first place to begin.

 

There are plenty of law firms who will offer you free advice on this subject and who will take the case on under a Conditional Fee Agreement (no win no fee) if they feel that there are reasonable prospects. However, as prreviously advised, you will need some evidence.

 

I am sorry to learn of your loss.

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  • 4 months later...

Since I last posted the complaint was resubmitted again and the trust once again failed to respond by the given time frame. They once again asked for more time as they had been unable to gather the information needed to which we agreed . They have now informed us that all of mums notes have now gone missing. Where do we go from here? My sister in law has now submitted a complaint to the ombudsman (She is the one who submitted the original complaint on behalf of all the family) The complaint was not made with a view to obtaining compensation just answers.

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Since I last posted the complaint was resubmitted again and the trust once again failed to respond by the given time frame. They once again asked for more time as they had been unable to gather the information needed to which we agreed . They have now informed us that all of mums notes have now gone missing. Where do we go from here? My sister in law has now submitted a complaint to the ombudsman (She is the one who submitted the original complaint on behalf of all the family) The complaint was not made with a view to obtaining compensation just answers.

 

How very convenient. How can they lose this information ?

 

I am sure others will pop in and offer suggestions, however, I think you have made the right move by making a complaint to the Ombudsman.

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Uploading documents to CAG ** Instructions **

 

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Since I last posted the complaint was resubmitted again and the trust once again failed to respond by the given time frame. They once again asked for more time as they had been unable to gather the information needed to which we agreed . They have now informed us that all of mums notes have now gone missing. Where do we go from here? My sister in law has now submitted a complaint to the ombudsman (She is the one who submitted the original complaint on behalf of all the family) The complaint was not made with a view to obtaining compensation just answers.

 

Most Trusts, don't even have a definition of what a complaint is. It is no wonder they are so hopeless at dealing with them.

 

In terms of the Medical Records, you have a number of options. You could try making a request to the GP. It is possible that some records or at least letters have been sent to the GP.

 

You could also complain to the General Medical Council about each Doctor - If they agree to investigate they will contact the Trust(s) and appoint an Expert to write a report on your complaint. - This process whilst time consuming might give you some answers.

 

http://www.gmc-uk.org/concerns/making_a_complaint.asp

 

There are also the usual routes, such as writing to your MP etc. If your dealing with the complaints department, find out the email of address of the chief executive of the trust (the name should be on their website and the email address can be identified via looking up 'contact us') and then keep bombarding the chief executive and if you like the entire trust board with emails until you get some answers.

 

Yes Mark, I am Bones

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As far as lost records are concerned, I'd be very surprised if they have really lost everything. Most hospital records are now digital, so I'd be asking the Trust concerned to confirm that they have lost not only paper records, but all the digital records (and most imaging is now digital, so the x-rays should be on a hard drive), across all their systems - wards, imaging, labs and so on. Ask if the Caldicott Guardian is aware of the loss of the records, and what action he/she has taken. Then report the Trust to the Information Commissioner.

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