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 Dying patient 'treated like an animal'

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PosOnderwerp: Dying patient 'treated like an animal'    Thu Aug 12, 2010 3:21 pm

Nurses put a dying woman in a hospital storage cupboard overnight because they said she was being too noisy.

Dora Duggan, 81, who was terminally ill and suffering from dementia, was moved from her ward to a room which was full of boxes and was being used for storage at the time.

The hospital also left a bag full of tablets within her grasp, prevented more than two members of her family visiting her bedside at the same time and did not put a wristband on her during her four day stay in hospital.

Nottingham University Hospitals Trust has now apologised "unreservedly" for the great-grandmother's treatment which they admit was "not acceptable".

Miss Duggan, a mother of nine, was first admitted to Nottingham City Hospital on March 4 after suffering a heart attack.

The retired waitress was not expected to survive the weekend and was released from hospital on March 8 and died shortly after on March 14, Mothers' Day.

Her daughter and former carer Janey Agutters, 45, and daughter-in-law Susan Young and said that when they first visited Miss Duggan, she had no name above her bed and the nurses were not aware of her eating needs.

When they went to see her a few days later, she pointed to the storage room full of boxes, sharps bins and trolleys and said she had been kept there overnight.

Mrs Young, from Nottingham, took pictures of the room on her mobile telephone. She said staff told her boxes were removed from the room and divorcee Miss Duggan was wheeled in there in a bed.

But the family believe the boxes were not removed and Miss Duggan was left in a wheelchair all night. There was also no nurse call buzzer for the pensioner in the room.

Mrs Young, 46, a civil servant, said: "They treated her like an animal and shut her in a room that wasn't even sterile.

"I don't believe they wheeled the bed in along with all her other stuff - there wasn't room and there were only three nurses on that night.

"She was supposed to be on oxygen, so I've no idea how they'd have got that in."

She added: "The nurses hadn't even written on the notes that night that she'd been moved into the cupboard. They added that later on - after I'd made a complaint."

After the family confronted them, hospital staff admitted that Miss Duggan, a grandmother to 15 and great-grandmother to seven, should not have been put in the room, though they claim that the decision was made because she was disturbing other patients.

But her family say they are not satisfied with the explanation and have demanded to know whether Miss Duggan was on a bed or in a wheelchair in the room and how long she was in there.

They have now taken the case to the NHS ombudsman

Mrs Young also said that her mother had been begging to go home and that doctors had refused to discharge her even though she had just a few days left.

But when a member of staff at the hospital discovered that Miss Duggan had traces of MRSA, the hospital allowed the family to take her home with half-an-hour, according to Mrs Young.

Mrs Young added: "She had a big graze on her arm and they couldn't explain why. We went in one day and she had juice over her glasses and all over her.

"It's like they thought, she's got dementia, she's dying, why do we need to do anything?"

Jenny Leggott, deputy chief executive and director of nursing at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, said: "We are deeply sorry and apologise unreservedly to Mrs Duggan's family for the shortcomings with the care provided.

"We have investigated the concerns raised and have assured the family that we will do everything possible to avoid future occurrences of the difficulties they brought to our attention." - Daily Mail

http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?from=rss_News&set_id=1&click_id=79&art_id=iol1281594285892D526&singlepage=1

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