More claims of neglect at Dewsbury and District Hospital

COMPLAINTS: The family of Dorothy Brooke has concerns about her care at Dewsbury and District Hospital.
COMPLAINTS: The family of Dorothy Brooke has concerns about her care at Dewsbury and District Hospital.

MORE families have spoken out about care for the elderly at Dewsbury and District Hospital after an article in the Reporter.

Last month, we told how the family of 89-year-old Jane Horner felt she was robbed of all dignity in her dying days.

Reader Rachael Brooke said it brought back the upset her own family felt when her 70-year-old mother Dorothy Brooke was treated at the hospital in 2010.

“My mother was a proud woman,” she said. “I believe that the hospital neglected her that much that she just gave up on herself.”

On the anniversary of Mrs Brooke’s death last year, the family asked to talk to staff about her care. No progress has been made since because Mrs Brooke’s records were destroyed.

Mrs Brooke, of Park Avenue, Westtown, was admitted with a stomach bug and later died from heart failure.

On one occasion, Miss Brooke found her mother sitting beside her hospital bed with the curtain drawn round. Her feet were so swollen that her slippers were digging into her ankles.

Miss Brooke, 36, of Clarke Street, Westborough, said: “Her panic button used to contact the nurses was just thrown at the other side of the bed. Her medical notes were just thrown all over her bed. Basically they had forgotten and neglected my mother.”

Mrs Brooke’s husband, Raymond, arrived early for visiting on another day to find his wife sitting with an uneaten tray of food in front of her. The salad box and yoghurt had been left sealed by staff, even though Mrs Brooke had lost the use of one arm after a stroke Mr Brooke, 75, said: “The nurses were just standing in a room with the sister.

“They were laughing and talking, that’s what got me.”

Their other concerns include lack of information given to families, elderly patients waiting for long periods after asking to go to the toilet, and confusion over discharging patients.

Meanwhile, the Mid-Yorkshire Hospitals Trust is investigating complaints from a Birkenshaw man whose father was treated like a ‘lump of meat’.

George Wallace, 53, of Lynwood Close, said: “The needs of the elderly, especially those who are disinclined to complain about their treatment, are not being met at this hospital.”

The trust’s associate nursing director Moya Emery said its priority was giving the best possible care to patients. She said ward standards were regularly reviewed to improve services.

She said: “This includes checking that we meet key dignity standards which are an essential part of providing a positive patient experience.

“Anything less is not good enough and I would like to apologise to Mr Wallace and Miss Brooke.”

Follow me on Twitter @ReporterGeorge. Email me at georgina.morris@ywng.co.uk.