"Death of our 26 year old daughter"

About: Good Hope Hospital / Trauma & orthopaedics Queen Elizabeth Hospital (Birmingham)

(as a relative),

I don't really know what happened to my daughter, she was admitted to Good Hope hospital at the end of December with suspected appendicitis/cyst on ovary. She had an operation without scanning her and removed a tumour. Very rare, so rare that it took until six days before she died for them to disclose that she had Sarcoma.

My daughter was then transferred to The Queen Elizabeth Hospital from Good Hope Hospital on an evening. She was admitted and then transferred on the following day (Monday) to the young persons unit.

She met her oncologist that evening. They discussed chemotherapy with her and decided to start it on the Wednesday. The Oncologist told us that best case scenario was 3 years if it worked, 12 weeks if it didn't.

Our daughter started chemo at in the evening of the Wednesday. On Thursday morning when I entered her room her drip was off. I asked a nurse who told me it had a battery and she was busy with a patient.

I waited another hour and approached the senior nurse who looked panicked and ran straight into my daughter’s room. They said that she hadn't been re-attached since she had been taken to the toilet during the night. She apologised and said that this would not happen again.

On the Friday, the Oncologist came and said it was pointless to continue treatment and that my daughter had days left. She died 6 hours later in a most distressing manner.

I have been advised to ask for the clinical pathways of my daughter’s case from her first admission to Good Hope until her death in Queen Elizabeth.

I believe the treatment my daughter received in Good Hope Hospital was appalling. However when I approached them they have adhered to Government requirements on times to deal with complaints. I don't really want to discuss the appalling care she received in Good Hope as they are investigating my complaint.

Queen Elizabeth however have not even had the decency to offer condolences and have not given any time frames. Their response has been that nurses and doctors are very busy treating patients and when they have time they will get back to me. In my opinion, not checking for mistakes that may have taken place and continuing on the same path is arrogant and unbelievable.

I do not want a response that requires me to contact a machine linking me to PALS which is the standard and I think inappropriate response on the swift death of my young daughter.

I feel it is so understandable the people in our position choose litigation.

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Response from University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback on your daughter's experience at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham. We welcome all feedback and would like to assure you that all comments are taken seriously and acted upon as part of our ongoing commitment to improving patient experience.

We would like to offer our sincere condolences for your loss. We were very concerned to read about the circumstances preceding the death of your daughter, this is certainly not the type of experience we would want anyone to have as a patient under our care. We strive to provide the highest standard of care possible and we are very sorry that you feel that we have not achieved this at what was already a very distressing time for you all.

Your comments have been forwarded to the relevant senior clinical and managerial members of staff. They would welcome the opportunity to meet with you to discuss the issues raised in more detail and take action to ensure that future patients have a more positive experience. If you would like to do this please contact the Patient Services Department who will make the necessary arrangements. You can contact Patient Services by phone 0121 627 2950 or by email complaints@uhb.nhs.uk.

Thank you again for taking the trouble to post your comments on the Patient Opinion website.

Update posted by Traumatised Family (a relative)

I have no intention of phoning the patient services department.In response to my complaint of March 4th I received a letter dated 26th April repeating my complaint and once again patronisingly telling me that "While these will be urgently requested, it is important to appreciate that doctors' and nurses' primary roles require them to attend to patients' urgent clinical needs and this work will always take priority". Completion date expected 29th June.No condolences offered.