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NHS

As the Labour Party launches new claims that only they can be trusted with the NHS, we reproduce the following extracts from a witness statement submitted to the Francis Inquiry by the daughter of a patient treated at Mid Staffordshire Hospital in 2005. Her full statement is available here.

‘On 19 April 2005 I took my mother to A&E at Mid Staffordshire Hospital as she was feeling rather disorientated, and sick…’

‘When the doctor finally came to examine my mother, he would not listen to me concerns… My brother refused to take my mother home until she had been properly examined. Blood samples were taken from my mother. A rubber glove was used as a tourniquet. I was horrified.’

‘…My mother had previously had two hip replacement operations. One of the screws was ‘floating’ and causing her particular pain. We repeatedly drew this to the attention of the nursing staff on Ward 12, but it appeared the nursing staff took no account of this when it came to moving my mother. It did not seem to matter how many times we drew this issue to the attention of the nursing staff, no record of the pain my mother was suffering in her hips was made in her notes. Eventually I had to stand over a nurse and watch her write it in my mother’s notes, to be sure it was properly recorded.’

‘…We found that my mother’s bed linen was either not being changed by nursing staff, or the dirty bed linen was left in my mother’s room, along with syringes (used) on a utility trolley.’

‘…By this time, my mother was getting very desperate. She was very distressed by what she saw on the ward. For example, she told me that a patient died in the bed opposite her one night, and the body was still there the following day. That same night my mother was left by nursing staff sat in her chair and not moved until 6am the following morning. I recall my mother saying to me that if she didn’t get out of the hospital soon, she was going to jump out the window.’

‘…Throughout my mother’s time in the hospital, I noted a failure by the nursing staff to use the hand sanitising gel. While my mother was on the side ward, someone came to take a blood sample. He had no gloves on, and had difficulty obtaining blood from the veins in her arms…I asked whether he was aware she had MRSA. He said no and left immediately.’

‘…The nursing staff appeared to be short staffed. I recall one nurse was trying to move my mother from the bed to the chair. She asked us to leave the room while she did this. The nurse slipped, and when we re-entered the room we found my mother on the floor. We were told that my mother had refused a hoist. This was a lie, as there was no hoist there. The nurse broke down and cried. She told us how sorry she was. She explained that she had been working very long hours, and that they were very short staffed…’

‘…Accordingly to the death certificate…the cause of death was renal failure and malnutrition. I simply cannot understand how somebody could die of malnutrition in a hospital.’

‘…Complaining was like an uphill struggle. Often, I felt like I knew what I wanted to say, but couldn’t necessarily convey this. Also, I was assured so many times that things had changed and that new systems had been put in place to correct issues I raised. I know from experiences of people close to me that the promised improvements have not happened.’

‘…My mother was admitted to and treated at Mid Staffs in 2005. I really feel that if some of my complaints had been taken more seriously, some of the other individuals who suffered at Mid Staffs at a later date, may not have done…I sometimes wonder how many lives could have been saved if more notice had been taken of my and others’ concerns.’

24 comments for: Mid Staffs 1) Extracts from a witness statement to the Francis Inquiry

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