NHS apologises to family over mother’s hospital death

Denise DaviesImage copyright
Family photo

Image caption

Denise Davies died in hospital after being transferred from a mental health unit in 2013

An NHS trust has apologised to the family of a woman who died in hospital after becoming chronically dehydrated.

Denise Davies, 45, from Lowestoft, was being treated at the town’s Carlton Court Mental Health Unit in 2013, where her physical health deteriorated.

Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Trust admitted there were failures in her care there, and delays in her transfer to hospital.

Its chief executive offered her “personal apologies” to her family, who have agreed an out-of-court settlement.

The mother of two had suffered from anxiety was under observation at Carlton Court.

She was later transferred to James Paget Hospital in Gorleston with dehydration and died in June 2013.

An inquest in 2015 found her cause of death was a heart attack, brought on by a blood clot in the lung.

The family’s legal team argued the trust failed to carry out daily risk assessments and she should have been transferred to hospital sooner.

Family “ripped apart”

Mrs Davies, a former healthcare worker, was the sole carer for her husband Mark, 55, who is paralysed because of a spinal condition.

Trust chief executive Julie Cave wrote to him to offer her “sincere condolences”.

“I am aware that the standard of care provided to Denise fell below that which she was entitled to expect,” she added.

The trust was put back in special measures in October when inspectors said its board “failed” to address serious concerns raised since 2014.

Image copyright
Family photo

Image caption

The mother-of-two died from a heart attack after a blood clot in the lung

Mr Davies said: “Our family has been ripped apart by Denise’s death.

“We had more than four years of fighting Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Trust until it finally admitted failings.

“We were told that changes had been made but I’m sceptical as to whether enough is being done”.

A Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust spokesman said it would be “inappropriate” for it to comment further.

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