Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

'My Mother's Dignity Flew out of the Window the Moment That She Went on to That Ward'

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

'My Mother's Dignity Flew out of the Window the Moment That She Went on to That Ward'

Article excerpt

THE daughter of a women who died at Stafford Hospital said that her mother's dignity "flew out of the window" when she was admitted.

Denise Harrison's mother died after a combination of illness, a botched operation and contracting a bug at the hospital.

The 50-year-old, from Barton-upon-Humber in Lincolnshire, said that her mother Dorothy Harrison died after spending nine weeks in the "hell hole".

Her mother, a retired office worker from Stafford, was admitted in December 2008 suffering with pain relating to Crohn's Disease.

A scan revealed that parts of her intestine had fused together so medics recommended an operation to rectify it. Ms Harrison was told that her mother's surgery was a success.

Two days later her mother was admitted to the critical care unit after developing pneumonia.

While on the ward she contracted a bug and Ms Harrison was told to "prepare for the worst". But in late December her mother was taken off her ventilator and transferred to a general ward - ward 7. "Things just went from bad to worse," said Ms Harrison, who sat at her mother's bedside every day.

"They moved her in the middle of the night and that night she fell out of bed and broke her right arm.

"I rang the critical care unit the next morning and was told that she had been moved to a general ward. When I called the ward they told me she was fine and had a good night."

Ms Harrison said her mother had snapped the bone in her upper arm but had to wait for two days before she was given an x-ray.

She said that the standard of care her mother received on the ward was "appalling".

"There was no dignity, her dignity flew out of the window the moment she went on to that ward," she added.

Ms Harrison said her mother was not washed properly, the bed sheets were filthy and the toilet was so dirty that she cleaned it herself.

She was left for long periods of time in her room without any member of staff checking on her and her water jug was often left empty. …

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