Hospital cleared of blame over death

James Bollen and Susanne Bollen

James Bollen and Susanne Bollen - Credit: Archant

A 92-YEAR-OLD man’s death was not caused by malnutrition despite his family’s fears, a coroner has ruled.

James Bollen died last summer, with his daughter Jane Gill criticising Weston General Hospital for a lack of staff and cleanliness.

However a coroner has concluded Weston Area Health NHS Trust (WAHT) was not to blame for Mr Bollen’s death.

A conclusion of death by natural causes was recorded after an inquest was told Mr Bollen had suffered heart failure.

Chris Perry, WAHT’s director of nursing, said the family’s criticisms last year were ‘unjustified and unfair’ and failed to reflect the ‘high standard of care’ offered.

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Mrs Gill, who worked for the NHS for 30 years, said she was disappointed with the inquest’s findings.

She said: “All I wanted for my dad was justice and I don’t feel he has had that.”

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Mr Bollen was taken to Weston General Hospital in April and picked up three illnesses during his four-week stay.

Susanne Bollen, his wife of more than 60 years, said the final days of her husband’s life had been a ‘harrowing’ experience.

Speaking to the Mercury in June she said: “The last thing he said to me was: ‘Food, food.’ I’ll never forget that.”

Mrs Gill said her father, who lived in Yatton, predicted he would die at Weston General Hospital and his family were keen to move him to Clevedon Hospital.

Concerns over a lack of staff raised by the family back in June came just a fortnight before the Care Quality Commission (CQC) ordered WAHT to hire more nurses.

A recruitment drive followed and the CQC has since praised the hospital for the improvements it has made.

Chris Perry said: “We understand and sympathise with his family’s grief.

“However, we do believe that some of the comments made about the level of care Mr Bollen received at Weston General Hospital have been unjustified and unfair.

“We feel they do not accurately reflect the high standard of care he received from all the staff who looked after him. Nevertheless, we always take on board communication and feedback from families and patients and use them to support our programme of continual improvement.”

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