An unsafe wardBMJ 2013; 346 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f1243 (Published 25 February 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f1243
- Judy Shakespeare, retired general practitioner, Oxford
This is the story of how my father died in a modern British hospital. In late March 2012 he organised his own 90th birthday party, where he stood and delivered an articulate and funny after dinner speech. He was a retired anaesthetist living alone and independently in a small village in the north of England. By the beginning of May he was dead, having sustained a fractured femur in hospital (not Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust).
He had significant comorbidities, including critical aortic stenosis. In mid-April he was admitted for cardiac assessment and deemed fit for cardiac surgery. Two days after discharge he was re-admitted under a gastroenterologist after a gastrointestinal bleed. His death happened after a fall eight days later.
I believe that a lack of basic care in hospital led to his fall and death. I wrote to the hospital trust, including a personal narrative of events, and I asked questions. The trust has carried out a serious untoward incident review, and I have discussed the outcomes with the trust; it has not disputed any of my comments about his care. I have no interest in litigation, only in improving the …