"I have questions that need answering"
About: Weston General Hospital Weston General Hospital Weston-Super-Mare BS23 4TQ
Posted by lawyer (as ),
My father was admitted to Weston General Hospital in early August 2009 with a pleural effusion (fluid). We were informed that the procedure was straightforward and he would be admitted as an in patient for 24 to 48 hours. He was initially admitted to the Assessment Unit and an x-ray confirmed fluid on his lungs. We were informed that this was not an emergency and the procedure would be performed that evening or the next morning.
The next day at 5pm he was transferred to a ward. We were then informed that all the Doctors had retired for the day and the procedure would be performed the following morning. Once again, we were informed that the procedure was not urgent.
When my mother and I returned from the restaurant to find that my father had been transferred to a ward (without notice) we proceeded to find the ward. On arrival I felt we were met by an extremely hostile and rude sister who informed us that we shouldn't be visiting at that time.
Shortly afterwards another nurse came to assess my father and when he was unable to hear her (Dad was hearing impaired) she had to ask us if my father was confused. My Dad was present during this and very concerned that he was being treated in this way.
The procedure was not performed on that morning as agreed. We were then approached by another Doctor who suggested that Dad have an ultra sound first. Ultra sound performed -four hours later procedure still not performed. We were informed again that Dad was not an emergency. The procedure was eventually performed late that afternoon.
During this period I believe Dad was not monitored properly, or provided with enough fluids and food. I think the care he received was beyond words.
When we left Dad that evening he seemed stable to me. My Mum was extremely upset and said to the night nurse "please take care of him he is very precious" to which this person replied "husbands are precious you are lucky to have one mine died a year ago". This statement made me feel concerned.
We returned the next morning to find that Dad’s bed had been moved. On asking the Consultant why he informed us that there was a "mad man" on the ward and they had moved Dad for peace and quiet.
On speaking to the Consultant he informed me that his x-ray had shown a small area of white consolidation - "it could be cancer it could be something else but it didn't matter either way" because the Oncologist had informed him that he would not provide Dad with any chemotherapy. During the same conversation I asked the Consultant for some anti-biotics as a preventative measure (i.e. to prevent infection from draining) and was informed that this was not standard procedure and would not be undertaken. He then went on to inform me that Dad had developed other conditions whilst in hospital and he would prefer me to sign the DNR (do not resuscitate) form - to which I refused. When I refused he talked to my Mum and this went on all day long.
On that afternoon, we were approached by another Doctor who informed us that Dad had a severe infection and antibiotics were being commenced immediately. It was then what seemed to me hours later they were administered.
On the following morning (early hours) we telephoned to check on Dad and we were informed that he was improving. Shortly afterwards we received a call from the hospital. On arrival we found Dad on a ventilator. I was called away from Dads bed again and asked to sign the DNR form - to which I refused. My mother was then called away. This continued for hours and hours. My Dad was placed on the Liverpool pathway but in my opinion we were not informed. The Doctor informed my mother and brother that he would administer a pain killer and after twenty minutes Dad would be comfortable enough to switch off the ventilator. I don’t think either of them was informed that this would result in Dad stopping breathing. Luckily I feel when the nurses arrived to do the same I was able to stop them.
Dad passed away on that afternoon and I feel the care, respect and dignity he received from those treating him was inhumane to say the least.
This is just a brief summary of the events.
We have requested Dad's notes and the hospital have only provided some. I have telephoned the hospital on numerous occasions but telephone calls are never returned. I have been promised telephone calls from the Chief Executive but not returned.
Referring back to my conversation with the Consultant on Friday - Dad's notes (those I have) state that the white area x-ray could have been infection but he was refusing antibiotics. The notes also state he should perform a CT scan but saw no need as it wouldn't change the plan of treatment. I want to question exactly what is going on in this hospital and ward.