THE family of an elderly woman admitted to Weston General Hospital have struck out against the care she received - branding it ‘a massive failing.’
Jean Hooper of Walliscote Road, Weston, spent her final days at the Grange Road hospital after being admitted in October last year when doctors suspected she had pneumonia.
Her 83-year-old husband Tony has been her sole carer for the past two years, after she was diagnosed with the degenerative condition pulmonary fibrosis.
Jean was admitted to the hospital on a Friday and although she was given a medical plan, treatment and was told by the ward doctor she had an infection not pneumonia, she was not reviewed until Tuesday.
Tony - who was prompted to contact the Mercury after seeing how another family had claimed similar problems with care - noted a number of issues with general care and cleanliness while his wife was on the ward, which he felt was not suitable for her.
He said: “Harptree was for more able-bodied people and was not the right ward for my wife because she could not walk or feed herself. She was very weak and she needed care.”
Her health deteriorated and she suffered a heart attack five days after she was admitted. She was then transferred to a high dependency ward and given intravenous fluids, as doctors also diagnosed her with renal failure and pulmonary fibrosis. Jean died a day later, aged 82.
Jean’s daughter, Sarah Benny, aged 45, of Gimblett Road in Worle said her mother only received the expected standard of care when she was moved from the Harptree ward.
She said: “It wasn’t until something critical happened that she was given fantastic care.
“I could never get hold of anyone and she only seemed to drink when we encouraged her.
“We knew because of her condition she would not get better but my dad looked after my mum so well we were all left to feel why did he work so hard when she was given such poor care on the ward?”
Sarah’s husband Steve, aged 50, also visited his mother-in-law while she was on the ward.
He said: “The high dependency ward staff were fantastic, but they had a massive failing in the general care.
“Friday to the Monday was the biggest downfall and it was too little too late after that.”
Tony formally complained about the problems he saw on the ward and was very disappointed to receive a letter from chief executive Peter Colclough where Jean’s name was spelt wrongly.
Tony said: “Her named was spelt June - not Jean - and I was disgusted that they could not even get her name right.
“She never complained and I feel she was just left. It’s not right and it should not be allowed to go on like that.”
A Weston Area NHS Trust spokesman said: “We are always extremely sorry when families feel that their relatives have not received the high standard of care that they expect and we take these matters extremely seriously.
“When an area of the Trust has received a complaint and apologised appropriately, we reiterate the need for them to continue to learn from what happened, to ensure that our usual high standards are maintained consistently in future.”