"My mother needed a consultant to oversee her care"

About: Maidstone District General Hospital / Colorectal surgery Maidstone District General Hospital / Older people's healthcare

(as a relative),

My 88 year old mother initially suffered a bad break of her ankle in June 2011.

While in hospital undergoing treatment for this a tumour was discovered in her transverse colon. This was operated on in early August apparently successfully. She went to a community hospital for recuperation prior we hoped to returning home.

After about 10 days however she developed a chest infection, was readmitted to Maidstone Hospital in September 2011 and died of pneumonia and severe sepsis a few days later. While the surgical interventions she received were excellent and most of the staff encountered were caring and committed I do not feel she received good enough all round care and that this contributed to her weakened state which led her to succumb to pneumonia.

In particular her nutritional intake, mental health and physical needs were not accorded sufficient attention. The approach was too silo driven, with the key specialists no longer involved once they had done their bit.

My request for a Geriatrican to be involved from the start to have an overview of her care and progress , as recommended by national Guidance ( "NCEPOD An Age Old Problem") was turned down by the Hospital as unnecessary and my belief (though it cannot be proven) is that this may have enabled my Mother to survive.

Other aspects of her care also caused concern which I have included in a letter to the West Kent PCT and this is shortly to be discussed with senior staff from the Hospital. I can provide a copy of this if helpful.

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