Monday, 22 September 2008

Leicester Royal Infirmary's catalogue of deadly blunders killed former member of staff

Hospital staff have apologised for errors in treating a dying patient – including thinking she was another woman of the same name.

Lynda Greatorex, from Wigston, died aged 59 at Leicester Royal Infirmary after being admitted with heart problems.

The grandmother had been a medical secretary at the hospital for nine years before retiring a year before her death.

Her daughter, Gaynor, also works at the hospital and said she was appalled by the distress her mother suffered in the run-up to her death, on April 19, from heart failure.

Gaynor, of Anstey Lane, Leicester, said the worst error was that doctors used another woman's file while treating her mother, which meant they went to the wrong GP to inquire about her medical records.

She said her mother was also denied heart drugs early in her treatment and that medical staff left her unattended and failed to notice when her blood sugar levels became dangerously low.

She should have been checked every two hours, but was not seen from 8pm on April 16 until 7am the next day.

Gaynor said: "They never asked her details properly so they were always confusing her with another woman with the same name.

"She was put in a side room and left with minimal nursing contact. Every day on the ward there were errors and she suffered because of them.

"It's not about compensation for me and I don't claim my mum would have lived much longer if treatment had been better.

"But she worked for the hospital for nine years and to repay her with such dismal treatment was terrible.

"It's a shame the last week of her life had to be so traumatic."

Gaynor made an official complaint to the hospital in July and has received an apology.

In a statement, a hospital spokesman said: "An investigation was undertaken and a written response provided.

"We deeply regret Miss Greatorex had to raise concerns at such a difficult time.

"We have previously extended an invitation to Miss Greatorex to meet with senior staff and would extend that invitation once again should she have continuing concerns."