Hospital staff have come under scrutiny over their care of a Deal man after a report revealed it was ‘‘so poor that it amounted to service failure."
This came after a complaint to the Health Ombudsman from Andrew Taylor, 49, from Wimbledon, whose 92-year-old father died in the QEQM Hospital in Margate almost three years ago.
Arthur Taylor, a retired newsagent, of Dola Avenue, Deal, was admitted to the hospital with a suspected urinary infection on May 1, 2011.
He died five days later, and his son claimed that this was due to a lack of care from hospital staff.
The ombudsman’s report states that nurses did indeed fail to monitor his condition or pass on information about his deterioration to doctors.
However, according to the report the service failure did not lead to Arthur
Taylor’s death as the postmortem showed that he died of a long-standing condition which would not have been helped had the urologist seen him.
Mr Taylor, a cardiac nurse specialist, claimed nurses failed to monitor his condition or pass on information because of his father’s age. He said that the trust did not provide the treatment his father needed for a severe kidney infection and instead seemed to have deliberately directed his father’s care to the end-of-life pathway.
He said: “Everyone who is admitted to hospital if they are unwell has a right to receive full and proper care.
“It is clear from the hospital’s own medical notes for my father that either they failed in their duty of care to him or a decision was taken on the basis of age to do nothing about his condition.”
Mr Taylor also said there was a lack of communication from the ward, claiming that he was not aware of the severity of his father’s condition until much later. The ombudsman agrees in part with Mr Taylor’s complaints and states that the level of care and observation by nurses was not adequate, nor in line with good medical practice.
The report states that signs of his deterioration, such as not passing urine, should have been reported to senior doctors and a urologist should have visited. It also reveals that this lack of care led to an injustice to Mr Taylor and his family.
Mr Taylor is continuing to oppose the report’s finding that the service failure did not lead to his father’s death, and feels that the report “glosses over” some of issues about ageism and a lack of monitoring by nurses. He added: “It has always been our intention to try to ensure that no one has to go through this again.”
“Everyone who is admitted to hospital if they are unwell has a right to receive full and proper care."- Andrew Taylor.
A spokesman for the East Kent Hospital University Trust, which runs the hospital, said: “We are sincerely sorry for our failure to provide the level of care we would aspire to for Mr Taylor during his time in hospital and the distress this has caused his family.
“We have been working to make improvements following the ombudsman’s report to ensure that every patient receives excellent care whilst in our hospitals.
“We will be writing shortly to Mr Taylor’s son, Andrew, to tell him what we have done.”
For the full story read this week's East Kent Mercury.