Lancashire TelegraphDying Blackburn man 'let down' by heart doctors, says grieving widow (From Lancashire Telegraph)

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Dying Blackburn man 'let down' by heart doctors, says grieving widow

Lancashire Telegraph: Joan Sharples with her husband Bob, who died last week Joan Sharples with her husband Bob, who died last week

A GRIEVING widow said she felt ‘let down’ by doctors who refused to fit her terminally ill husband with a pacemaker she believes would have prolonged his life.

Joan Sharples, 63, from Darwen, said medics were ‘wrong’ to deny her husband, Bob, the device.

Mr Sharples, 74, developed a serious heart condition after being diagnosed with cancer of the oesophagus in August last year, and was told he would need a pacemaker fitted in January.

But his discharge notes from Royal Blackburn Hospital, seen by the Lancashire Telegraph, said the cardiology team decided not to proceed, because of his poor cancer prognosis and a lack of symptoms from the heart condition.

His cause of death was registered as a malignant neoplasm of the oesophagus, the technical term for the cancer, and type two diabetes.
However, Mrs Sharples said her husband was suffering badly with his heart condition in his final months.

The Dorset Avenue resident said: “Bob’s heart was all over the place, going fast and then slow so much that the nurses often couldn’t measure his pulse.

“He was just incredibly weak, sleeping most of the time and struggling to move. It was his heart that was the problem.

“I think it was wrong not to have given him one (a pacemaker). It would have given him more time, and I feel like Bob was badly let down.”

Mr Sharples, who had been in respite at Birch Hall Care Centre in Darwen for six weeks, died with his wife by his bedside last Thursday.

The retired electrician, who did voluntary work with the disabled and as a police ‘special’ for 25 years, was a ‘kind and gentle man’, his widow said.

She added: “He really loved me and I’m going to miss him.”

Mr Sharples leaves his children Carol, Mark and Gary, grandchildren Crystal, Adam, Mark, Sarah, Jack, Luke, Patrick and Ellie, and great grandchildren Dillan, Connor, Ayla, Robert and Charlie.

A spokeswoman for East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust declined to comment, for ‘reasons of patient confidentiality’, adding: “We offer our condolences to Mrs Sharples at this sad time.

“The Trust met with Mr Sharples and his family regarding his treatment prior to his death.”

A funeral will be held at Pleasington Crematorium, in Tower Road, Blackburn, tomorrow morning. Family flowers only and any donations should be made to Cancer Research UK.

Comments (10)

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2:45pm Wed 9 Apr 14

Cimbri says...

Yet another harrowing tale of distressed relatives of those receiving treatment from this hospital. I really cannot begin to imagine how it must feel, to learn that a Doctor took the time to make a comment in the patient notes, yet was unable to explain this, to either patient nor next of kin.
Whilst they may no longer take the Hippocratic Oath, one of it's lines reads, "I will prescribe regimens for the good of my patients according to my ability and my judgement and never do harm to anyone", which is something that even those with the very basics of humanity can live by. How long does it take, to say to someone, 'we have don't feel that this procedure is going to change the outcome, but you have our assurance that we will give the very best of care, in what time remains'.
Treasured memories, soured by hospital indifference. My heartfelt condolences to his wife, family and friends, with the fervent hope that they can overcome this, in time.
Yet another harrowing tale of distressed relatives of those receiving treatment from this hospital. I really cannot begin to imagine how it must feel, to learn that a Doctor took the time to make a comment in the patient notes, yet was unable to explain this, to either patient nor next of kin. Whilst they may no longer take the Hippocratic Oath, one of it's lines reads, "I will prescribe regimens for the good of my patients according to my ability and my judgement and never do harm to anyone", which is something that even those with the very basics of humanity can live by. How long does it take, to say to someone, 'we have don't feel that this procedure is going to change the outcome, but you have our assurance that we will give the very best of care, in what time remains'. Treasured memories, soured by hospital indifference. My heartfelt condolences to his wife, family and friends, with the fervent hope that they can overcome this, in time. Cimbri
  • Score: 12

3:47pm Wed 9 Apr 14

midas says...

Shes not complaining that she didn't know the reason rather that they didn't spend the money on fitting him with a pacemaker. Where in the article does it say that they didn't explain this to either of them?
.
Shes not complaining that she didn't know the reason rather that they didn't spend the money on fitting him with a pacemaker. Where in the article does it say that they didn't explain this to either of them? . midas
  • Score: 8

4:37pm Wed 9 Apr 14

K7****7 says...

So the Royal Blackburn Hospital is in the news again because of failures. So much for the broken promises they made .about improving the service. This just reminds us all of the keough report and why they were criticised. This is about human lives.
So the Royal Blackburn Hospital is in the news again because of failures. So much for the broken promises they made .about improving the service. This just reminds us all of the keough report and why they were criticised. This is about human lives. K7****7
  • Score: 11

8:34pm Wed 9 Apr 14

Openminded? says...

Everyone's quick to come on here and slate the trust, specially LET.

There was an article the other day congratulating the trust, but yet no one commented and said well done

Kinda says it all.
Everyone's quick to come on here and slate the trust, specially LET. There was an article the other day congratulating the trust, but yet no one commented and said well done Kinda says it all. Openminded?
  • Score: 7

10:54pm Wed 9 Apr 14

woolywords says...

Openminded? wrote:
Everyone's quick to come on here and slate the trust, specially LET.

There was an article the other day congratulating the trust, but yet no one commented and said well done

Kinda says it all.
Oh dear, let's try and fix that impression that you have those whom comment here. Tell you what, I'll write a list and you point out the positive improvements made. Let's start at the front gate and work our way up...
Unfair parking charges.
Waiting times at A&E.
Waiting times for beds.
Ward cleanliness.
Working hand sanitiser dispensers.
Theatre cleanliness.
Staffing levels.
Quality of the food.
Bedside phone and TV charges.
Ward Managers and staff relations.
Executive staff and Chief Executive.
And last but not least of all, the hospital is STILL in special measures, from last year!
As someone said to me, the other day, that man who escaped from the ambulance was under the delusion that they were taking him to BRH and wanted to escape that fate!
St Elsewhere should be it's name, given the obscene amounts of money that it's costing me and you, for it to be so badly managed. Of course, I will admit that the standard of their spokespersons spin on things, has shown a marked improvement of late, as I've absolutely no idea what they do to manage any complaint against them now, with the convolute gibberish that they give out as a press release.
[quote][p][bold]Openminded?[/bold] wrote: Everyone's quick to come on here and slate the trust, specially LET. There was an article the other day congratulating the trust, but yet no one commented and said well done Kinda says it all.[/p][/quote]Oh dear, let's try and fix that impression that you have those whom comment here. Tell you what, I'll write a list and you point out the positive improvements made. Let's start at the front gate and work our way up... Unfair parking charges. Waiting times at A&E. Waiting times for beds. Ward cleanliness. Working hand sanitiser dispensers. Theatre cleanliness. Staffing levels. Quality of the food. Bedside phone and TV charges. Ward Managers and staff relations. Executive staff and Chief Executive. And last but not least of all, the hospital is STILL in special measures, from last year! As someone said to me, the other day, that man who escaped from the ambulance was under the delusion that they were taking him to BRH and wanted to escape that fate! St Elsewhere should be it's name, given the obscene amounts of money that it's costing me and you, for it to be so badly managed. Of course, I will admit that the standard of their spokespersons spin on things, has shown a marked improvement of late, as I've absolutely no idea what they do to manage any complaint against them now, with the convolute gibberish that they give out as a press release. woolywords
  • Score: 13

10:57pm Wed 9 Apr 14

Openminded? says...

woolywords wrote:
Openminded? wrote:
Everyone's quick to come on here and slate the trust, specially LET.

There was an article the other day congratulating the trust, but yet no one commented and said well done

Kinda says it all.
Oh dear, let's try and fix that impression that you have those whom comment here. Tell you what, I'll write a list and you point out the positive improvements made. Let's start at the front gate and work our way up...
Unfair parking charges.
Waiting times at A&E.
Waiting times for beds.
Ward cleanliness.
Working hand sanitiser dispensers.
Theatre cleanliness.
Staffing levels.
Quality of the food.
Bedside phone and TV charges.
Ward Managers and staff relations.
Executive staff and Chief Executive.
And last but not least of all, the hospital is STILL in special measures, from last year!
As someone said to me, the other day, that man who escaped from the ambulance was under the delusion that they were taking him to BRH and wanted to escape that fate!
St Elsewhere should be it's name, given the obscene amounts of money that it's costing me and you, for it to be so badly managed. Of course, I will admit that the standard of their spokespersons spin on things, has shown a marked improvement of late, as I've absolutely no idea what they do to manage any complaint against them now, with the convolute gibberish that they give out as a press release.
Again I am not saying its perfect, in miles away if not thousands of miles away perfect.

But when it does go well, we have to recognise it, as recognise when it goes wrong.
[quote][p][bold]woolywords[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Openminded?[/bold] wrote: Everyone's quick to come on here and slate the trust, specially LET. There was an article the other day congratulating the trust, but yet no one commented and said well done Kinda says it all.[/p][/quote]Oh dear, let's try and fix that impression that you have those whom comment here. Tell you what, I'll write a list and you point out the positive improvements made. Let's start at the front gate and work our way up... Unfair parking charges. Waiting times at A&E. Waiting times for beds. Ward cleanliness. Working hand sanitiser dispensers. Theatre cleanliness. Staffing levels. Quality of the food. Bedside phone and TV charges. Ward Managers and staff relations. Executive staff and Chief Executive. And last but not least of all, the hospital is STILL in special measures, from last year! As someone said to me, the other day, that man who escaped from the ambulance was under the delusion that they were taking him to BRH and wanted to escape that fate! St Elsewhere should be it's name, given the obscene amounts of money that it's costing me and you, for it to be so badly managed. Of course, I will admit that the standard of their spokespersons spin on things, has shown a marked improvement of late, as I've absolutely no idea what they do to manage any complaint against them now, with the convolute gibberish that they give out as a press release.[/p][/quote]Again I am not saying its perfect, in miles away if not thousands of miles away perfect. But when it does go well, we have to recognise it, as recognise when it goes wrong. Openminded?
  • Score: -2

1:22am Thu 10 Apr 14

LancsLad92 says...

I'm sorry for their loss above all, RIP Mr Sharples.

I think all comes down to one thing, the doctors do whatever they can within limitations set by the NHS, the NHS can only do so much within limitations depending on funding by the government that are clearly not doing enough and are letting under staffed and under funded hospitals like Blackburn Royal take the rap.

My Dad would also benefit from a pacemaker after having two heart attacks and many other major heart operations and constantly suffering from angina but having a pacemaker implanted is an expensive procedure and requires expert heart specialists which the NHS can't afford and the government wont pay for.
I'm sorry for their loss above all, RIP Mr Sharples. I think all comes down to one thing, the doctors do whatever they can within limitations set by the NHS, the NHS can only do so much within limitations depending on funding by the government that are clearly not doing enough and are letting under staffed and under funded hospitals like Blackburn Royal take the rap. My Dad would also benefit from a pacemaker after having two heart attacks and many other major heart operations and constantly suffering from angina but having a pacemaker implanted is an expensive procedure and requires expert heart specialists which the NHS can't afford and the government wont pay for. LancsLad92
  • Score: 8

11:49am Thu 10 Apr 14

midas says...

LancsLad92 wrote:
I'm sorry for their loss above all, RIP Mr Sharples. I think all comes down to one thing, the doctors do whatever they can within limitations set by the NHS, the NHS can only do so much within limitations depending on funding by the government that are clearly not doing enough and are letting under staffed and under funded hospitals like Blackburn Royal take the rap. My Dad would also benefit from a pacemaker after having two heart attacks and many other major heart operations and constantly suffering from angina but having a pacemaker implanted is an expensive procedure and requires expert heart specialists which the NHS can't afford and the government wont pay for.
You say "the government wont pay for" but should they pay for it? The clinical assesement says not - "because of his poor cancer prognosis and a lack of symptoms from the heart condition". In a world of finite resources should there be a criteria imposed when deciding what treatment to use or should the NHS just provide everything that anyone requests?
[quote][p][bold]LancsLad92[/bold] wrote: I'm sorry for their loss above all, RIP Mr Sharples. I think all comes down to one thing, the doctors do whatever they can within limitations set by the NHS, the NHS can only do so much within limitations depending on funding by the government that are clearly not doing enough and are letting under staffed and under funded hospitals like Blackburn Royal take the rap. My Dad would also benefit from a pacemaker after having two heart attacks and many other major heart operations and constantly suffering from angina but having a pacemaker implanted is an expensive procedure and requires expert heart specialists which the NHS can't afford and the government wont pay for.[/p][/quote]You say "the government wont pay for" but should they pay for it? The clinical assesement says not - "because of his poor cancer prognosis and a lack of symptoms from the heart condition". In a world of finite resources should there be a criteria imposed when deciding what treatment to use or should the NHS just provide everything that anyone requests? midas
  • Score: 6

1:04pm Thu 10 Apr 14

LancsLad92 says...

midas wrote:
LancsLad92 wrote:
I'm sorry for their loss above all, RIP Mr Sharples. I think all comes down to one thing, the doctors do whatever they can within limitations set by the NHS, the NHS can only do so much within limitations depending on funding by the government that are clearly not doing enough and are letting under staffed and under funded hospitals like Blackburn Royal take the rap. My Dad would also benefit from a pacemaker after having two heart attacks and many other major heart operations and constantly suffering from angina but having a pacemaker implanted is an expensive procedure and requires expert heart specialists which the NHS can't afford and the government wont pay for.
You say "the government wont pay for" but should they pay for it? The clinical assesement says not - "because of his poor cancer prognosis and a lack of symptoms from the heart condition". In a world of finite resources should there be a criteria imposed when deciding what treatment to use or should the NHS just provide everything that anyone requests?
If it can save someone's life yes, isn't that what you pay taxes for? Wouldn't it be worth the risk if it paid off, doctors would have known the answer is obviously yes.
[quote][p][bold]midas[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]LancsLad92[/bold] wrote: I'm sorry for their loss above all, RIP Mr Sharples. I think all comes down to one thing, the doctors do whatever they can within limitations set by the NHS, the NHS can only do so much within limitations depending on funding by the government that are clearly not doing enough and are letting under staffed and under funded hospitals like Blackburn Royal take the rap. My Dad would also benefit from a pacemaker after having two heart attacks and many other major heart operations and constantly suffering from angina but having a pacemaker implanted is an expensive procedure and requires expert heart specialists which the NHS can't afford and the government wont pay for.[/p][/quote]You say "the government wont pay for" but should they pay for it? The clinical assesement says not - "because of his poor cancer prognosis and a lack of symptoms from the heart condition". In a world of finite resources should there be a criteria imposed when deciding what treatment to use or should the NHS just provide everything that anyone requests?[/p][/quote]If it can save someone's life yes, isn't that what you pay taxes for? Wouldn't it be worth the risk if it paid off, doctors would have known the answer is obviously yes. LancsLad92
  • Score: 3

10:11pm Thu 10 Apr 14

DoggydogNo1 says...

When you can fetch someone from abroad and give them free treatment, then you should give the same service to the people that actually live in this country first!
When you can fetch someone from abroad and give them free treatment, then you should give the same service to the people that actually live in this country first! DoggydogNo1
  • Score: 3

Comments are closed on this article.

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