"Unhappy about my mother's final care at Preston"

About: Royal Preston Hospital / Older people's healthcare

(as a relative),

My Mother passed away in hospital in February of this year. I feel I cannot complain without involving my 90 year old Father, and cannot do this as they were married for 53 years and he is already devastated at the loss.

I was given the medical certificate at the hospital the same day that my Mother passed away, giving a blood clot as cause of death. I received a phone call from the Coroner's office the next day stating that the reason was incorrect, and the incorrect medication was administered when trying to resuscitate, so the certificate had to be returned.

This was a follow on from what I felt was appalling care which both my Son and myself witnessed the night before she died. We entered the ward at approx 6.30pm and could hear someone shouting for help. My Mother was shouting for pain relief and no one was on the ward. I went to get someone, only to be told that the Doctor was on a break. I went again and still had to wait until a Doctor arrived. When the Doctor did turn up, approx half an hour later, she did not look at my Mother and just signed off pain relief. At approx 9.00pm we left mum as she was resting with pain relief taking effect. But we never saw Mum alive again as she died either the next morning or during the night.

The post mortem revealed that a massive heart attack was the cause of death which is not what was recorded on the original medical certificate. I have been advised by the coroner's office that the drug that was administered was a drug to slow down the heart instead of a drug to speed up the heart during heart failure. Luckily for the hospital, the post mortem revealed that the attack was so large that no treatment would have worked.

I am left with the feeling that a doctor not only gave the wrong drug, but also attempted to cover their tracks after doing so. The only good is that the consultant reported the matter. What if this had not happened? The correct cause of death would have gone unnoticed.

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