Rubery man appeals to health ombudsman over his mother's 'appalling' treatment at Worcestershire hospitals

Beryl Harrington, before and after her hospital treatment. SP

Beryl Harrington, before and after her hospital treatment. SP

First published in News

A RUBERY man is appealing to the NHS ombudsman over the litany of poor treatment his mother received over four years in a number of Worcestershire hospitals including the Alexandra and the Princess of Wales.

Terry Harrington first took his mother Beryl into the Alex Hospital in 2010, when at age 79, she developed anxiety symptoms, which were later attributed to urinary tract infections.

When staff failed to determine what was wrong, she was moved to Kidderminster Hospital, where it was assumed she was suffering from depression.

Mr Harrington said: “They wanted to see about her depression, but it was trial and error with tablets, and it zombified her, we’d seen nothing like it. She was smacked out on depression medication, and she was emaciated, she came out unable to walk. My brother thought she was on her last legs.”

During her time at Kidderminster, Mrs Harrington’s stomach also swelled up, causing her children to raise concerns, which were ignored by the hospital, and have only recently been diagnosed by staff at the QE Hospital in Birmingham as being due to a twisted bowel.

After 9-10 weeks without success, Mrs Harrington was transferred, without the family being informed, to the Royal Worcester Hospital, where it was discovered she had contracted C-Difficil at some point, and where a junior doctor, who is yet to be named by the hospital, signed a Do Not Resuscitate Form, without the consent of any next of kin.

Mrs Harrington was then moved to the Princess of Wales Hospital in Bromsgrove, where staff lost her clothing, and she was placed on a dementia ward, much to her distress, and at that point her sons decided to remove her from the hospital.

Shortly after taking her home, Mrs Harrington was fitted for a new pair of shoes and a broken metatarsal bone was discovered in one of her feet, which has been allowed to set incorrectly.

Mr Harrington added: “I’d like them to be named and shamed. I’d like a proper apology. She wouldn’t need the care that she does if they hadn’t got involved.

“We’re struggling to this day. It’s resulted in my mother not having a life anymore.

“It’s so sad to watch. She used to be a strong character. She’s always been a quiet person but you should see the photographs we’ve got from four years ago. The chiropodist who comes out and does her feet they called her Tigger.”

In a letter to Mr Harrington, representatives from the NHS Trust have called the string of problems ‘a breakdown in communication’.

Ann Carey, director of nursing for medicine at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “We have been in active discussions with Mr Harrington since he first expressed his concerns to us and have been working with him to try to resolve the issues he has raised.”

Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust’s Executive Lead Nurse, Sandra Brennan, speaking regarding the Princess of Wales Hospital's role, added: “It’s not appropriate for us to comment on the specific treatment or care given to an individual due to patient confidentiality; however we did work with colleagues at the Acute Trust to investigate Mr Harrington’s concerns extensively at the time he raised them, and this included meeting with him on separate occasions.”

“You wouldn’t do it to a dog, it’s absolutely appalling, "added Mr Harrington "I’ll take to my grave what they’ve done to her, it’s just evil.

“It got to the point where we wanted to get a tractor and a muck spreader and go down to the Royal Worcester Hospital and press the button and away we’d go. I’d get arrested, but what does that matter? They push and push and push, it’s absolutely barbaric. It’s like something that happened in the war, not a hospital.”

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