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'No dignity' claim after mother died
THE family of a 77-year-old woman say she was not treated with proper dignity after she lay dead on her hospital bed for five hours before being taken to the mortuary.
Joan Whiteside, a mum-of-six, was admitted to Royal Blackburn Hospital last year suffering from a leaking abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA).
An aortic aneuryism is a major swelling in the aorta, the body’s largest artery.
Mrs Whiteside was expected to live just 24 hours as a ruptured or leaking AAA can often cause sudden death due to the sheer amount of blood lost.
Her family said she died 12 days later at about 2pm on October 6, but notes show the death wasn’t certified until 6pm and she wasn’t taken to ‘Rose Cottage’, the name given to the hospital mortuary, until 7.30pm.
The family complained to the hospital over a number of concerns about Mrs Whiteside’s care, and have disputed the diagnosis.
Daughter Janet Phillips, of Manxman Road, Blackburn, said it was when medical notes were received by the family after the complaint went in that her real concern came to light.
She said: “It was more distressing to me that she was left in that bed for five hours.
“How is that dignified? My mother brought six kids up and was a respectable woman. She deserved better.
“We had to see her suffer like that then she was left there for all that time.
“I lay awake at night thinking about it.”
A spokesman for East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust said: “We have received correspondence from the family and we are currently investigating the issues they have raised.”
The family came forward after reading about a damning survey in the Lancashire Telegraph that said patients were dying in pain and without dignity.
In Lancashire’s PCT cluster, it was reported, only 40.6 per cent of respondents rated the quality of end-of-life care as ‘excellent’ or ‘outsanding’.
Mrs Whiteside, who was a housewife, was originally from Knutsford, Cheshire, but came to Blackburn when she was 20.
She was the widow of Brian, and leaves behind children Christine, Keith, Janet, Stephen, Stephanie and Carol. She also had eight grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.