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Power of Attorney ignored

Elyriya

New member
Jun 17, 2020
4
0
When my mum was diagnosed with Alzheimers, we went to a great deal of time and trouble to make sure we had both a health and finance Power of Attorney so myself and my siblings could be her voice at the end. The hospital caring for her ignored the LPA and transferred her to a nursing home without our knowledge or consent where she died a week later. Solicitors only seem to be interested if we are filing a medical or clinical negligence claim. Has anyone else experienced this or has any advice please?
 

Louise7

Volunteer Host
Mar 25, 2016
3,136
0
Welcome to the forum @Elyriya and sorry for your loss. It seems that some hospitals are better than others at taking notice of power of attorney's. Sometimes it's because their records aren't kept updated, so you can tell one member of staff that you have POA but the message doesn't get passed to others. It's possible the discharge team were unaware of the position when they moved your mum. We had some similar issues (and worse) when mum was in hospital, including staff ignoring the POA, and we raised the issue with the PALS team, and submitted a complaint, but we are still waiting for a meaningful response almost 2 years later. If you have the energy then it's worth raising it with the hospital, and you may receive an apology, but it does seem that discharging 'bed blockers' to free up beds can sometimes result in corners being cut and families not being notified.
 

Elyriya

New member
Jun 17, 2020
4
0
It seems that a POA isn't really worth the paper its written on. Especially if all you can do is make a complaint and get an 'oh, yeah, sorry', which is what we've already had. Whats the point in appointing someone to be your voice when you can no longer communicate if its ignored. Its illegal and immoral and there should be a clear path as to what can be done about it.
 

Louise7

Volunteer Host
Mar 25, 2016
3,136
0
It seems that a POA isn't really worth the paper its written on.

Some people do take notice so it's definitely worth having. It was literally a life-saver when the hospital over dosed mum on morphine, leaving her unable to eat & drink, and were refusing to stop the medication. Producing the POA and asking them to please let us know why morphine was considered in mum's best interests resulted in the medication being stopped and mum recovering. We did however subsequently discover that the hospital had placed a DNAR on mum without informing family and ignoring the POA..... It is illegal (in certain circumstances), and can result in safeguarding issues for those who are unable to speak up for themselves, but as you have found solicitors aren't interested as it isn't worth their while. Maybe try a local/national newspaper to see if they are interested?
 
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Palerider

Registered User
Aug 9, 2015
3,182
0
North West
It would possibly be expensive to pursue legally (unless you have the funds available). You also have to bare in mind that hospitlas have their own legal departments and would likely go down a settlement route rather than face a court. As @Louise7 has said it would be interesting to see what the papers make of it as a story as it happens all too often -as evidenced by posts on here. Just be sure your facts are an acurate representation of what happened and you can back them up if need be.
 

Elyriya

New member
Jun 17, 2020
4
0
Thank you both for your replies. Unfortunately, the only 'evidence' we have is our written accounts of phone conversations. I'm sure it would be easy enough for the NHS records to be amended to reflect the correct procedure. If its a legal document, it should be illegal to break or ignore it and the hospital should be held accountable. I'll complain to the local council safeguarding team, file a formal NHS complaint with the hospital and contact care quality commission to see if any of them can help. Its really disgusting that families just have to let this go. I'll try the papers and see if they are interested. Thank you again
 

Louise7

Volunteer Host
Mar 25, 2016
3,136
0
The problem we had was that relevant hospital notes were either 'missing' or had been quite obviously altered. We did contact the council safeguarding team and the CQC but they weren't interested. Our complaint is currently being investigated by the health ombudsman as the hospital complaint investigation was very poor, and did not even consider any of our supporting evidence . We're not expecting much from the ombudsman either but good luck with trying. I expect if a child was involved there would be more interest but unfortunately it seems that the elderly aren't considered that important.
 

Elyriya

New member
Jun 17, 2020
4
0
I suspect I'll have the same issues but I feel I need to try. I would like a change of attitude and approach, ideally. If a POA is a legal document, why can't legal action be taken? The people ignoring them should be fined - or at least there should be some sort of incentive to stop them being ignored again in future. It sounds like so many families are going through this and something needs to change. It disgusting that nobody is interested in addressing it. If I had been consulted, she would have been with my sister and she would not have died alone in a care home, miles away from family and friends.
 

notsogooddtr

Registered User
Jul 2, 2011
1,104
0
I suspect I'll have the same issues but I feel I need to try. I would like a change of attitude and approach, ideally. If a POA is a legal document, why can't legal action be taken? The people ignoring them should be fined - or at least there should be some sort of incentive to stop them being ignored again in future. It sounds like so many families are going through this and something needs to change. It disgusting that nobody is interested in addressing it. If I had been consulted, she would have been with my sister and she would not have died alone in a care home, miles away from family and friends.
Were you in discussions with the hospital about an imminent discharge?
 

Louise7

Volunteer Host
Mar 25, 2016
3,136
0
We had to remind staff on several occasions that mum was a human being. I think that unfortunately some don't think of patients like that - they are 'numbers', not people - so it's easy not to think or worry about the consequences or impact of your actions on the individual or their family. I doubt that many would treat their own mother's the same way :(
 

Kate2762

New member
Apr 11, 2020
2
0
I am from Scotland and my mum died in hospital in May 2020. I had LLP welfare and medical l was completely ignored I was ordered to have 30mins on face time at 3.30 no other time my poor mum had no idea what this was. I got no information about her medical needs I had no say in anything until one week before she died I asked why she never had the bed clothes off Because she cannot get up the student nurse said I said what’s going on she is not of good weight. I said I know she is on oxegen but what weight is she another nurse came and told me in kilos I said what that in stones 3 she said I nearly died on hearing this. Mum gave me power of attorney so she could die in her own home. I stayed the night with her on the 24/5/20 she died on 25/5/20 hospital should not have been allowed to ignore my power of attorney they moved hospital as well and again ignored my wishes.
my complaint got no where and no legal action can be taken. This needs to change.
 

Jessbow

Registered User
Mar 1, 2013
4,322
0
Midlands
Were you in day to day contact with the hospital? Did they know you were involved in her day to day care, (besides the LPA)