THE family of a grandmother-of-four from Burnley have spoken of their ‘horrendous’ battle with hospital chiefs after she died of kidney failure.
NHS chiefs have admitted liability over the death of Sheila Rose Harvey, 71, who suffered from severe dehydration before her death at the Royal Blackburn Hospital in February 2012.
Her three daughters were told if she had been properly assessed, just over a week previously, and there had been specialist intervention, then she may have survived.
Heather Harvey, who has been campaigning for more than two years, said: “We just want people to know that you need to question medical advice because we all take on board what they say and it’s been awful, horrendous for us.”
Sheila, who lived in Reed Street, Burnley, was admitted to Olive House in Bacup, run by social services, after suffering a fall at home, which saw her break two ribs and suffer a back injury.
But two days after her admission, she was admitted to the Blackburn hospital with double pneumonia and kidney damage before being returned to Olive House after two weeks.
Heather said her mother was still in ‘a lot of pain’ and they were repeatedly told by her GP and a visiting nurse that she was suffering from dehydration – but they say she was not placed on a course of treatment.
Blood tests were carried out following another GP visit and it was found she was suffering from kidney failure and was returned to hospital.
She was transferred to intensive care, also suffering from a reaction to an anti-diabetes drug, and placed on dialysis but died a short time later. In a letter to the family in April, the trust stated: “It is submitted that had Ms Harvey been assessed as requested by (a doctor) on 23 January 2012 and input/output charts kept and had she been referred for earlier specialist intervention, then on the balance of probabilities, Ms Harvey would have responded to treatment and therefore may have survived.”
Christine Pearson, the hospital trust’s chief nurse, said: “We would like to express our sincere condolences to the family of Ms Harvey following her passing and the trust has accepted liability in this case.
“We sincerely apologise to the family. The trust reviews all incidents and legal claims made to ensure that lessons are learned and necessary improvements are made.”
Before falling ill Sheila, whose other two daughters are Ruth, 51, and Denise, 42, was a regular volunteer at Burnley Methodist Church and lived independently.
The family received an out-of-court settlement.