Is this best way to say Goodnight, Mister Tom?

My mother still gets letters addressed to my late father. Most of the time this is just irritating; other times it's laughably ironic - life insurance offers etc. It happens. Administrative errors are rife. I once (almost) allowed a letter to be sent to a person in the Everton district of Liverpool with the address 'SHITERTON' because I'd discovered the auto correct facility on MS Word and my secretary was an EFC* supporter (as was my father).

I'm reminded of this when seeing another bash the NHS story. (Source Yahoo)

  • Tom Milner, 76, was not given his prescribed pain-relieving morphine for terminal leukaemia in his last two days, his family say.

    They claim he was left in agony and lay in his own urine and blood at the NHS Palliative Care Ward at Sheffield's Northern General Hospital.

    Mr Milner's case was highlighted earlier this week by the Patients Association in a report on the treatment of the elderly by NHS nurses.

    His daughter, Janet Brooks, of Emsworth, Hampshire, emailed the National Patients Safety Agency outlining her concerns about his treatment.

    Mrs Brooks, 54, said: "They responded with 'Dear Tom'.

    "It's an example of the careless and shambolic attitude by the NHS towards my father and our family. We wanted his last days to be as peaceful and dignified as possible but at one point he was twisting and turning, laying in blood and urine. There was no compassion."

Now, nobody would doubt that this would be a particularly disturbing matter for Mrs Brooks, or that Mr Milner was poorly treated, but to use this as a battering ram against one of our proudest achievements does nothing to serve the memory of her dear father.

*I will be at Goodison Park tomorrow so there is a heightened sense of irony.


janet said...

The latest NHS mistake regarding Thomas Milner - Case No. 6 Patients Association Report has been made by Sir Andrew Cash OBE, Chief Executive of the Sheffield Teaching Hsopitals Trust.

He has sent a letter, nearly 4 years after Tom's death, outlining the times and refill of the syringe driver. These were incorrect.

Janet Brooks, Tom's daughter, telephoned Sir Andrew's office 21.9.09 to advise of the errors.
Family have the Medical Notes and never left Tom's side - we know the Truth!

Dr. Richmond, Medical Director of the Sheffield Hospital telephoned Janet Brooks, 24.9.09 He would NOT stand by the times listed when it was mentioned that the press were interested in this ongoing case.

Gross errors were made and the Sheffield Hospital continue to try to detract and avoid many simple questions.

The Hospital ressuscitated Thomas Milner 7.1.06 when it said DNR in the records.

The Consultant failed to 'calculate and consider' the huge amounts of extra, prn morphine that had been required in a previous 24 hour period. The syringe driver held only 10mgs. morphine for whole time in situ - 55 hours!

Nurses would not give medication 2 hours prior to death.

Janet Brooks had to call G.P. to summon help and a Junior Doctor appeared, DOUBLED the dose in the syringe driver to 20mgs. and Tom died 1 hour later 11.1.06.