"The death of my father"

About: Colchester General Hospital

My father was transported by ambulance to Colchester General having become unresponsive. When we arrived at hospital the two nurses who were supposed to move him said they couldn't due to one of them having a bad back. I had to do this myself. My father suffered from dementia so I had to explain everything to them. We waited for three hours before a doctor examined him. I explained what had happened and what medication he was on again. The doctor was very uncommunicative and simply left after a cursory examination. Some time later a porter came to take him to the EAU. On arriving I had to explain everything once again, including that my father took warfarin (an anticoagulant) and that without this he could suffer another stroke. I asked when he would be seen by a doctor and was told "around 9.00am". He had been taken into hospital at 8.00pm. I left the hospital at about 3.00am in a state of utter despondency. I went back the next morning and my father was awake and the hospital was about to discharge him. He became unresponsive again and the hospital porter who was taking him from the EAU refused to saying that "there's something wrong with him". I asked if he had been given his medication and no-body could answer. I was then told that he couldn't be given any medication as it was unsafe as he was "sleepy". I asked what was causing this "sleepiness" as he kept becoming unconscious and was told that it "may be the oxygen". I said again that without his anticoagulant there would be clotting in his blood but was ignored. He was transferred to a ward and I was contacted soon after to be told that his condition had significantly worsened. When I arrived he was naked, having pulled his pyjamas off and I had to re dress him. When I asked what had happened I was told that he had had "a massive insult to the liver". When I asked what that meant I was told that it could be a blood clot which had cut the supply of blood to the liver. At this point it was made clear that my father would be put on the Liverpool pathway and I stayed with him until he died. It was only later that I though about the appalling care he had received apart from that which he received whilst dying. I phoned PALS at Colchester to ask about the specifics which had led to my father's liver problem and was told that someone would get back to me. No one ever did.

Story from NHS Choices

Do you have a similar story to tell? Tell your story & make a difference ››


Response from Colchester General Hospital

I apologise you’ve not had a good patient experience. We try really hard to improve our services based on the comments we receive from our patients, their relatives or carers. We would like the opportunity to discuss your experiences more fully and to apologise in person. If you are willing I would appreciate it if I could ask the matron to contact you. Could you email me, using the reference “Comment on Accident and emergency services at RDEE4-Colchester General Hospital at 20/10/2014 19:34:10”, please? Many thanks Paul Searle, Head of Communications Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust info@colchesterhospital.nhs.uk

  • {{helpful}} of {{total()}} people think this response is helpful