Do I complain?

Karen22

Registered User
Nov 3, 2012
88
Hello,
My dad died in May last year and I have pondered numerous times as to whether to complain to the CQC as to the way he died and the hospital's way in which it dealt with him and with me. There were not enough doctors over the Bank Holiday weekends (he was in over two which were close together) and I believe that fluids were given to him which caused him to drown/suffocate after he had recovered from pneumonia. I did send in a form after his death and his notes were looked at (I was told) but the whole thing still plays on my mind. I don't want anyone else's loved one going through something similar but is it worthwhile to bring it all up again. I just don't know. Thank you for any advice or help.

Karen
 

Woohoo

Registered User
Apr 30, 2019
682
South East
Hi @Karen22 , I am sorry to hear about your dad and what you and he went through . I don’t want to tell you what I think but wanted to acknowledge your message . I can tell you about my dad . He was poorly with a few serious conditions so it wasn’t a total shock when he passed away but he had 3 failed discharges, he was seen by gp 4 hours before he died and they did nothing to stop his horrendous pain and struggle for breath , after he died the coroner asked me if I wanted to pursue this treatment from the gp and hospital , I am prob weak so I asked if it would bring my dad back ? Sadly not . I think maybe I should of done it to stop other family going through it but I ultimately decided that my time was being taken up looking after my mum who is PWD , I couldn’t of given the time to the investigation . I hope you come the best decision for you . I hope you find peace . X
 

Alex54

Registered User
Oct 15, 2018
192
Newtown, Wales
@Karen22, my father died in hospital nearly thirty-seven years ago, and to this day I still regret not making a complaint about the lack of medical treatment. Recently my wife had a terrible experience in hospital, and this time I did complain. Did it make any difference? Not really, but personally I feel a lot better.
 

Pete1

Registered User
Jul 16, 2019
487
Hi @Karen22, I think you have to for your own peace of mind. When my Mum was in Hospital on New Years Day two years ago, it was chaos due to lack of staff, and I witnessed serious safeguarding incidents (with two patients with dementia) that could have had serious repercussions (I had to intervene several times). I had to stay with Mum all day to ensure she was safe, and effectively ended up assisting on Mum's ward. I used the Patient Liason Service to put in a formal complaint. I didn't hear anything back, but I felt duty bound to formalise my concerns.
 

Karen22

Registered User
Nov 3, 2012
88
Thank you for your replies. It sure does help to air a problem on here. I have gone over and over it and I think I was so exhausted with it all after it happened that I didn't at first. I've had numerous problems with dad over the last five years, since just after my mum died, and Safeguarding at his previous Home and the hospital too where he spent numerous spells. I thought things weren't great there but they were even worse where I had to move him to just over a year ago. I wish I hadn't done so now, but that's hindsight for you! The hospital does have Safeguarding on A&E and Maternity, but I found two other wards dad spent time in were pretty okay; it was just the Elderly and Frail ward which was chaotic. I think I might put a complaint in just so this doesn't happen again. As has been said, it doesn't bring dad back and he was on his last legs if I'm honest but his end could have been so much better. The hospital concerned has a great website that promises help and support for palliative care and family but that never materialised unfortunately. I want to put it behind me and try to move on as best I can but think this might be the last step before I do. Thank you.

Karen
 

Kikki21

Registered User
Feb 27, 2016
2,248
East Midlands
Hi Karen - if you are going to complain then do it sooner rather than later. The NHS put a 12 mth limit on complaints. I tried to file a complaint over my mum’s CHC assessment which I felt was very unfair considering a lead consultant had given her a prognosis of life expectancy being weeks & months. I felt she should have been put on an end of life pathway. She died a year later.
I did put in a complaint but the investigating person was trying to make me do lots of stuff that I felt uncomfortable with such as prove who I was & even though a solicitor verified my identity, they would not accept that & then wanted to see my mum’s will.
I couldn’t see why my mum’s Will was relevant & so they closed the case. Perhaps I should take it further but to be honest, I had had & still have a bellyful with dealing with the executor of my mum’s will so I left it x
 

Palerider

Registered User
Aug 9, 2015
1,285
North West
Hello,
My dad died in May last year and I have pondered numerous times as to whether to complain to the CQC as to the way he died and the hospital's way in which it dealt with him and with me. There were not enough doctors over the Bank Holiday weekends (he was in over two which were close together) and I believe that fluids were given to him which caused him to drown/suffocate after he had recovered from pneumonia. I did send in a form after his death and his notes were looked at (I was told) but the whole thing still plays on my mind. I don't want anyone else's loved one going through something similar but is it worthwhile to bring it all up again. I just don't know. Thank you for any advice or help.

Karen
Apologies for the quick repsonse as I am just in from work, but wanted to reply to you. In the first instance you need to complain to the hospital concerned and this can be tricky as time has gone by. There are different ways you can complain and you don't have to use PALS to do this, you can write to the Chief Executive of the hospital if you wish.

I have had occassion to complain and have written to the Chief Executive, which was dealt with more appropriately than by PALS to be honest.

Is it worthwhile to complain? Yes if it highlights problems or potential threats to patient safety, then yes its worthwhile -and this seems to be so with your frustration at the lack of medical staff over two bank holiday periods. If you do, be factual about it with times and dates and what happened, don't get personal and attribute blame, but state the facts as you know them. I would describe it as 'fluid overload' due to over use of IV fluids and lack of medical staff to review your dad as a contributing factor -if this is what happened. I would also send a copy to the CQC with a covering letter.

Let us know how you get on if you decide to go ahead
 

millalm

Registered User
Oct 9, 2019
62
My Dad died in a Care Home 7 years ago. It was a very good home and the medical care initially was provided by a local gp who had been involved for several years. Just after my Dad went into the home the medical care was switched to another doctor and son medical team. To keep a long story short, as my Dad was approaching end of life I became concerned about the medication they were administering which was supposed to relieve his discomfort. Despite repeated requests by myself in the 24 hours preceeding his death, for more medication, he died gasping for breath and thrashing wildly for the last 8 hours of his life. The on call nurse did not believe he was dying and was reluctant to call for the doctor. As soon as he passed I decided that there was something not right about what had happened and went directly from his room to the office of the Director of Care to question and demand a review of what had happened. What followed was an investigation by the Physicians and Surgeons Medical society which resulted in findings that the doctor had NEVER made a single note in any patient file, and that he had directed medication and care instructions verbally and the nursing staff were left to chart and make the changes. It turned out in my Dad's case that what should have been 1.0 dose had been written as .01 and so he was receiving basically no pain medication as he died from what I believe was a leaking aortic aneurysm. It also became known that the Doctor was so difficult to deal with if the nursing staff contacted him outside his regular office hours that they were reluctant to call him, even though he was paid to provide 24 hour care to the home. After a 3 year investigation the Doctor was punished by the Medical Board, required to take courses and be on probation, and more importantly he was relieved of his duties by the Care Home very soon after I filed the formal complaint . I can tell you that the satisfaction of knowing he was no longer responsible for a care home full of vulnerable souls did not outweigh the pain that my Dad or I suffered at his hands but it went a long way to soothing the anger I felt at the situation.
Sorry for the long winded answer but my advice is , YES , follow your instinct and file the complaint.
 

Kikki21

Registered User
Feb 27, 2016
2,248
East Midlands
My Dad died in a Care Home 7 years ago. It was a very good home and the medical care initially was provided by a local gp who had been involved for several years. Just after my Dad went into the home the medical care was switched to another doctor and son medical team. To keep a long story short, as my Dad was approaching end of life I became concerned about the medication they were administering which was supposed to relieve his discomfort. Despite repeated requests by myself in the 24 hours preceeding his death, for more medication, he died gasping for breath and thrashing wildly for the last 8 hours of his life. The on call nurse did not believe he was dying and was reluctant to call for the doctor. As soon as he passed I decided that there was something not right about what had happened and went directly from his room to the office of the Director of Care to question and demand a review of what had happened. What followed was an investigation by the Physicians and Surgeons Medical society which resulted in findings that the doctor had NEVER made a single note in any patient file, and that he had directed medication and care instructions verbally and the nursing staff were left to chart and make the changes. It turned out in my Dad's case that what should have been 1.0 dose had been written as .01 and so he was receiving basically no pain medication as he died from what I believe was a leaking aortic aneurysm. It also became known that the Doctor was so difficult to deal with if the nursing staff contacted him outside his regular office hours that they were reluctant to call him, even though he was paid to provide 24 hour care to the home. After a 3 year investigation the Doctor was punished by the Medical Board, required to take courses and be on probation, and more importantly he was relieved of his duties by the Care Home very soon after I filed the formal complaint . I can tell you that the satisfaction of knowing he was no longer responsible for a care home full of vulnerable souls did not outweigh the pain that my Dad or I suffered at his hands but it went a long way to soothing the anger I felt at the situation.
Sorry for the long winded answer but my advice is , YES , follow your instinct and file the complaint.
I’m so sorry about how shockingly bad your dad’s treatment was at the hands of that doctor & I am so glad you followed your instinct. I still feel very strongly about the CHC assessment as it appears to be little more than a box ticking exercise & fail to see how a 30 min assessment can tell the real story about a person’s health & care needs.
 

sadman67

New member
Nov 7, 2019
8
Hospital unfortunately are not the best places to receive care at end of life. my wife had AD and MS she was admitted three times in the 8 weeks before she passed away in June 2018. Doctors were non existent most of the time and gave conflicting info and nurses seem to struggle to deal with her Alzhemiers in her last week before she passed away I had to constantly chase up nurses for information and was woken up at 2am by a doctor to be told that they had decided to withdraw her medication and that she only had a couple of days left to live and never saw a doctor again.
After she passed away I made a formal complaint which it took the hospital 9 months to finally respond to which they basically apologised 14 times in their letter for her treatment or lack of it but i'm glad I did as it helped me with closure I hope the hospital did learn a lesson if we don't highlight these issue the treatment of patient with Alzhemiers and dementia will not improve