"My mum's sudden unexpected death"

About: Northampton General Hospital (Acute) / General surgery

(as a relative),

My mum visited NGH in March 2013 for what should have been a simple in and out hernia repair. It should only have been day surgery. Whilst in recovery she was still experiencing bleeding from wound so she was admitted for an overnight stay. To cut a long story short she spent 2 nights on Spencer ward and passed away at 5.50am on the third morning. We received a report as part of a standard investigation into sudden unexpected death and the findings of that report are shocking.

The consultant in charge of my mums care had absolutely no idea she was on the ward, therefore potentially affecting her obs. The nurses looking after here were unaware of why they were looking after her. When they found her in bed unresponsive it took them 7 minutes to call the crash team by which time it was too late.

On arriving at the hospital the morning of my mums death and asking the nurse who was supposed to be looking after her what had happened, she proceeded to tell me in great detail. She even used hand motions just to be sure there was no confusion about what had happened and couldn't stop mentioning that between the hours of 2am when my mum got up to go toilet and when they found her at 5.25am she kept ringing the bell but it seems those bells were unanswered. The report then goes on to say that they don't feel with better management the outcome would have been any different.

I'm never going to get my mum back, my daughter has lost her grandmother and NGH don't feel that better management would have made the slightest bit of difference? To me it's laughable.

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Response from Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust

Dear WillowTree

We understand that your mum’s death was distressing for you and your family and are sorry you feel the care we gave her was not of the standard you expected of us or that we would wish to provide.

As you know, we undertook a detailed investigation into the circumstances surrounding your mum’s death and we shared the results with you. The investigation did identify some areas where our care could have been better, and we have made sure that we have shared the lessons learned.

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Update posted by WillowTree (a relative)

Some areas? The report admits that the consultant in charge of her care didn't know she'd been admitted for overnight stays, she was put on the head and neck ward following and abdominal hernia repair, the nurses "looking after her" weren't aware of WHY they were looking after her, which in return effected her obs and monitoring, yet whoever did the report had the audacity to state that the outcome would have been no different with changes in care?

Aside from that I spoke to the hospital to request certain things to be looked into and detailed in the report, mainly the issues of bells being answered between 2am and 5.25am, that request was completely ignored despite being reassured that it would be looked into.

I'm also curious to know why it took 7 minutes before the crash team were called for? 7 minutes could have made all the difference.

I'm so pleased to know that my mum's passing was a lesson for all the staff who should have known their job, that makes me feel so much better.. Not.

Response from Jane Bradley, Interim Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Patient Experience, Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust

Dear WillowTree

Please get in touch so that we can arrange for a senior member of our nursing team to meet with you to talk through the issues you have raised. You can contact us via PALS@ngh.nhs.uk.

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