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Possible medical negligance

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So i'm not sure on some of this but here goes...


My mum went to hospital with a chest infection, her underlying condition was parkinsons disease. The week before she was in hospital, she was herself (so the disease was nowhere near final stages).


She got to hospital and they assumed that she was "fine" before. They decided to do a CT scan. Hospital staff tried to get her to drink the horrid tasting dye but she refused purely for the bad taste. They gave me a choice, get her to drink it all or its tubes down throat to send it direct to her stomach. She wouldn't drink anymore because as she told me, it tastes so bad. So they tried forcing tubes down. That didnt work and they did the CT scan anyway... all clear.


Within 3 days she went downhill according to them and dr's spoke to me saying she has pneumonia and has days left to live. They said they will make her as comfortable as possible but cant do anything else aside from a morphine driver to numb pain.


I was told by a nurse "if she is still with us on the Monday, i'm working and can support you". Mum survived.


She then started getting better. She was talking to me again saying she wanted to go home but they kept drugging her up. She would cry not because of pain, but because she wanted to go home but they assumed she was in pain and upped the morphine dose.


Mum had done quite well. Progress was good. So how could it be "pneumonia" ? 1 nurse said she is doing so well they will start trying her on fluids again. I asked another nurse if this was true and she said "no it's not" and then she asked me "who are you anyway?".


2 days later and she was being given fluids. I asked mum if she wanted a drink. She said yes so I got a bottle of water out and she was sucking on the top of the bottle. Then told me when to stop.


The staff all then said she is doing so well and it seems she had been transferred from an "end of life status". They told us they would move her to a local hospice when she had recovered enough since she used to go there regular for activity days and knew everyone.


The next day when she clearly wasn't well enough they transferred her to the hospice regardless (probably to free up a bed). Within hours she declined and 2 days later she passed away.


I'm thinking what the hell.... A few points apart from the obvious.


I asked to see medical records at funeral directors. They said they would sort it but only managed to sort out the records from the hospice. The hospice notes were along the lines of "We were told she is on end of life care and wouldn't have long left to live". So why did they tell us they would only move her when she had recovered enough as she was recovering well? Why move her when she wasnt ready and tell them shes on end of life care?


Then it comes to the death certificate....


Cause of death: parkinsons


Nothing about pneumonia or other complications.


It's utter tripe really. She was not at the end of life stage from parkinsons. She was actually at the stage before the final stage. Plus its medically known that people do not die from parkinsons, they die with it due to other complications.


I personally think they assumed "Oh well, she has parkinsons, seems like pneumonia too. Nothing we can do" then deprived her of fluids and pumped her full of crap.


When I saw her body in the hospice she was yellow. So its like her liver had failed... maybe because of the meds they wrongly gave her?


I want full medical records but how do I get them? I know the NHS cover a lot up so is there even any point? Thanks

Edited by Matthew31
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Oh and... in the week she was ill at home... she was prescribed morphine and some other rubbish. The prescription dates were wrong... 1 said the 4th jan and the other was 30th december 2015... Yet mum was only prescribed these after dr's were called around the 10th jan

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Did any of the family have Power of Attorney or be a Deputy for health and welfare?

The hospital will have a records department but would need someone like that or the executors of the estate to ask for the records I would suggest


I was very surprised on reading what was written for my elderly relative on their records, so they can be very revealing

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Thanks, nobody had power of attorney or anything else you mentioned.


I will be executor, so I should be able to get them?


Yeah, it just doesnt make sense with certain things but my concern is the NHS always cover up their mistakes. I know from when I went through medical negligence and was even told by a surgeon they messed up. Yet when it came to complaints they all sided with each other and fobbed me off

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As an executor, I should imagine that you will be able to get access.


But what do you want out of this at such a stressful time. Making a complaint against the NHS is very stressful in itself. Be aware (as far as I am aware!) that if you get to the ombudsman stage that the people who are dealing with the complaint are not medically trained and go to NHS employed advisors for their medical advice!


Perhaps have a look at http://www.parkinsons.org.uk/forum

For more advice

Also the Alzheimer's forum is very good as well and you might find further help there:


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Thanks, I did have a look on those websites. Visited them a few times previously. The general thing on there is people do not die from the disease, they die with it.


I guess I just want to do the right thing if there is medical error. I have had pages of tasks to do since her death so havent been able to start the main part of the grieving process and so feel I could deal with doing what is needed to be done now than say in a months time.


There should be investigation if mistakes are made especially because they got away with mistakes years ago that they made when I had an operation. A whole list of mistakes, the surgeon even admitted their mistakes after the operation and I was sent home with another patients notes instead of mine. Yet when I complained they delayed a response multiple times and covered it all up.

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Unless the law has changed in the last few years (and I guess it could have) I applied for all my deceased relatives's medical records as next of kin. There was a charge. Contact PALS to ask them about the formal process to obtain them. You may need to request the GP records separately to give you a rounded picture.



I know it has been said before by myself and many others, but the process of finding out what really happened to your mum will be very painful for you and your family and may be made more so by the obfuscation of the hospital management and medics. However, this 'need to know' is crucial to the healing process.



I wish you luck.

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