NHS Trust apologises over ‘sub-standard’ care
9:07am Thursday 13th September 2012 in News
HEALTH chiefs have admitted that a seriously ill grandfather was given “sub-standard” care by staff at Bolton NHS Foundation Trust.
John Thorpe died in October last year after what his son Gordon Thorpe says was a “catalogue of failures”.
The 88-year-old developed painful pressure sores and became bed-bound while he was treated by Trust staff.
His son says the family were not kept informed about a deterioration in Mr Thorpe’s condition and said notes and documents relating to his care were not completed properly.
The grandfather-of-four was taken to the Royal Bolton Hospital in February last year after a fall at the home he shared with his wife Nora, in Linacre Avenue, Great Lever.
He was admitted to Darley Court, an intermediate care home run by the Trust, in Shepherd Cross Street, Bolton.
But while he was being cared for there he lost five stones in five weeks and developed painful pressure sores.
Mr Thorpe was then transferred to ward H3 in the Royal Bolton Hospital.
His 58-year-old son said: “When he went in, he was mobile but he came out on a stretcher and was taken back to hospital with two pressure sores that went through to the bone. After that he never got out of bed again.
“I don’t feel he got the best care. Some of the staff on some of the wards were very good, but the H3 ward was a shambles.”
Since his father’s death, Mr Thorpe has had face-to-face meetings with several senior members of staff at the hospital — including the Trust’s chief executive Lesley Doherty.
The Trust has apologised and said a programme of improvements has been implemented since Mr Thorpe’s death, such as minimising risks for patients prone to suffering from pressure sores.
But his son said the way his complaints have been dealt with made him question whether he can trust that change will happen.
Mr Thorpe added: “I feel very bitter about the hospital. I have said if the senior consultant who cared for my father was the only doctor on this earth and I needed a serious operation then I wouldn’t let him near me.
“I won’t go to the Royal Bolton Hospital again.
“They have promised me they are going to put all these things right and they can’t even get a report to me on time. How can I take on board what they are going to do?”
Dee Sissons, director of patient experience and safety/chief nurse, said “complex” health conditions made some patients prone to developing pressure sores and staff tried to minimise these risks.
She added: “In the case of Mr Thorpe’s father we believe that overall appropriate care was given, although there were some occasions when it was not of the uniformly high standard we would expect.
“In particular the documentation to give evidence of what had been done was sometimes lacking.”
Ms Sissons apologised for delays and a lack of communication with Mr Thorpe’s family.
She said: “I fully accept there was inadequate communication with Mr Thorpe and his family during his father’s time in our care last year and unacceptable delays in sending him reports into his subsequent complaints.”
She said a rolling programme across the Trust to improve the assessment and care of patients at risk of pressure sores and the related documentation had been introduced.