"Call for better standards of care. "

About: Royal Blackburn Hospital

(as a relative),

My experience of ward D1 at Royal Blackburn hospital was like a waking nightmare. My mother was treated as if she had dementia, when there was no previous diagnosis or clinical evidence. I felt that they used dementia as an excuse for the symptoms of their own failings, like her dehydration, an untreated infection, and poor nursing.

She was not given life-saving treatment, when there was overwhelming evidence, (subsequently revealed in her medical notes) that she had sepsis. Ward D1 is an MRSA isolation ward and early treatment of sepsis is essential. At that time, she was denied food and fluids on a bogus claim of dementia, when it is known sepsis changes cognitive function in not only elderly patients but patients of any age.

When it became septic shock, the facts were covered up and in our view she was denied the care she needed, based on their supposed interest in her quality of life.

I feel this ward really needs serious investigation as I believe that patient safety has been compromised and in my case my mother died as a result of what happened there.

A formal investigation recently acknowledged that my mother had died of sepsis, almost three years after her death. Why did the form after her death say that the family were happy with her care, when it was known I had called in safeguarding? And why is septic shock or sepsis not mentioned on her death certificate, but instead an infection without clinical evidence? Why was sepsis never at any point mentioned to the family?

We are in the process of establishing a patients' forum to call for a full investigation as soon as possible into standards of care at the Royal Blackburn Hospital that have been hidden and overlooked.

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Response from Meg Davey, Head of Patient Experience, East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust

Dear redrose

We were really sorry to hear about your experiences of your mother’s care three years ago. Firstly can I thank you for sending your feedback particularly in such difficult circumstances. As you can imagine the Trust is unable to go into details on a public website about an individual’s care but we would be really keen to talk to you about your feedback.

Firstly it sounds like you still have some questions and feelings from your mother’s care, which we would want to help you with as far as possible, given that a formal investigation has taken place. Also it seems that you have concerns about the care at the hospital and would want to raise these concerns on behalf of patients. As a Trust we are keen to carry on building different ways of both learning from past experiences and also engaging with the public and patients in a positive fashion. For all these reasons we would encourage you to ring 01254 733698

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