How could our girl die of asthma attack in hospital Damning report reveals failings in NHS care of patients 'treated worse than animals'
The Patients Association report discloses how some doctors are 'acting like God' by telling relatives they will not try and resuscitate their loved onesOther distraught family members have spoken of lack of compassion amongst staff who don’t care if patients 'lived or die'




15:20 GMT, 22 November 2012


<img src="" width="306" height="423" alt="Lauren Hughes, pictured, died three days after being admitted to hospital with an asthma attack " class="blkBorder" />
<p class="imageCaption">Lauren Hughes, pictured, died three days after being admitted to hospital with an asthma attack </p>
<p>Nurses who didn&#8217;t know how to give the kiss of life went into a panic when a child was admitted to hospital with a severe asthma attack.<br></p><p>Her family described scenes of hysteria as staff who were meant to be helping their daughter desperately tried to call senior medics to ask them what to do.<br></p><p>Three days later, 15-year-old Lauren Hughes died having suffered brain damage due to a lack of oxygen.<br></p><p>The appalling case was revealed by her parents today in a damning report by the Patients Association into failings in NHS care.<br></p><p>Pat and Dolly Hughes said one nurse became so distraught at the Ross-on-Wye community hospital she had to be calmed down by a colleague.<br></p><p>They said they couldn&#8217;t understand how a healthy teenager was able to die of an asthma attack while in hospital.<br></p><p>The hospital trust later admitted the nurses at its minor injuries unit weren&#8217;t trained in cardio-pulmonary resuscitation and should have dialled 999.<br></p><p>Lauren had been taken to the unit by her mother when she started to suffer an asthma attack.<br></p><p>Initially they couldn&#8217;t even get into the hospital as the door had been locked for the evening.<br></p><p>Lauren &#8211; who was in obvious distress &#8211; was also ignored by two paramedics walking out of the hospital who did not stop to help or even let her in.<br></p><p>She was eventually transferred to University Hospital North Staffordshire but died three days after the initial attack in May.<br></p><p>Dr Peter Wilson, Medical Director at Wye Valley NHS Trust, which runs the community hospital said the trust has carried out a &#8216;full review&#8217; of the unit where Lauren was treated.<br></p><p>Staff have also admitted that nurses are not trained to do CPR as it is &#8216;above and beyond what is expected of them&#8217;.</p>
<img src="" width="634" height="478" alt="Untrained: Nurses at the Ross-on-Wye Community Hospital didn't know how to carry out the kiss of life" class="blkBorder" />
<p class="imageCaption">Untrained: Nurses at the Ross-on-Wye Community Hospital didn't know how to carry out the kiss of life</p>
<p>Today&#8217;s report on NHS care also found cases of patients being treated &#8216;worse than animals&#8217; and ridiculed by &#8216;rude&#8217; nurses.<br></p><p>Relatives also say doctors are ignoring their pleas to promise to resuscitate loved ones should they stop breathing. Some families spoke of a lack of compassion among staff who didn&#8217;t care if patients &#8216;lived or died&#8217;.<br></p><p>In one case, the daughter of a 94-year-old man who was being neglected by nurses told them &#8216;you wouldn&#8217;t treat an animal like that&#8217;. Sandra Lamb also revealed how a doctor refused to sign a form agreeing to resuscitate her father should he stop breathing.

</p><p>In another example, an elderly man with dementia was allowed to wander out of hospital and drowned in a river. The family of Ronald Bowman, who was being treated at the Panteg Hospital, Pontypool, South Wales, think he was trying to get home to his wife. <br></p><p>Katherine Murphy, chief executive of the Patients Association said: &#8216;The sad conclusion of this report is that still far too many patients are being shockingly let down by the NHS every day.<br></p><p>&#8216;These appalling and tragic cases serve to highlight the devastating consequences when poor practice is left unchallenged and unchanged. Behind each one are many more unheard voices.<br></p><p>&#8216;Whilst there is a lot to be proud of about the NHS, including the overwhelming majority of staff who are skilled and hard-working, these cases are a tragic wake-up call for those in Westminster as well as on hospital wards.&#8217; <br></p><p>Over the past few years a number of reports have drawn attention to examples of poor hospital care, particularly involving the elderly.<br></p><p>The Government, along with various NHS organisations, has repeatedly promised to drive up standards and change the culture of the health service. But the Patients Association said that little had changed. It has been producing annual reports of poor care since 2009.<br></p><p>Mike Farrah, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, which represents health service staff, described the stories in the report as &#8216;shocking and deeply distressing&#8217;.<br></p>MISSING PATIENT WITH ALZHEIMER'S DROWNED IN RIVER NEAR HOSPITAL <br><p> </p> <br>

<img src="" width="306" height="394" alt="Alzheimer's patient Ronald Bowman, who went missing from a 'dementia friendly' ward, drowned in a river near the hospital " class="blkBorder" />
<p class="imageCaption">Alzheimer's patient Ronald Bowman, who went missing from a 'dementia friendly' ward, drowned in a river near the hospital </p>
<p>An Alzheimer&#8217;s patient who went missing from a 'dementia friendly' ward drowned in a river near the hospital, his son said.<br style="font-weight: bold;"></p><p>Nick Bowman has accused Panteg County Hospital staff of not appropriately caring for his father Ronald, from Langstone in Newport, who died earlier this year.<br style="font-weight: bold;"></p><p>He said that his family had been assured by healthcare professionals that his 74-year-old father was being well looked after.<br style="font-weight: bold;"></p><p>But after escaping the ward, which is especially designed for patients with dementia, Mr Bowman drowned in a river near to the hospital.<br style="font-weight: bold;"></p><p>The family believe that Mr Bowman was trying to cross the river so he could get home to his wife.<br style="font-weight: bold;"></p><p>Mr Bowman was admitted to the Royal Gwent Hospital suffering with meningitis. He was later transferred to the Hafen Deg ward at Panteg County Hospital in Pontypool, South Wales.<br style="font-weight: bold;"></p><p>His family were told that he would be checked on by ward staff every 15 minutes.<br style="font-weight: bold;"></p><p>But Mr Bowman managed to escape from the ward twice, being found once in the hospital car park and in the reception.<br style="font-weight: bold;"></p><p>Mr Bowman went missing for a third and final time in June this year. Police found his shoes at the bank of a river near to the hospital.<br style="font-weight: bold;"></p><p>Three weeks later Mr Bowman&#8217;s body was found four miles downstream from the hospital.<br style="font-weight: bold;"></p><p>His son said: 'We believed that as he had left the ward twice before, that the medical staff would be especially diligent when keeping an eye on my father. This was not the case.<br style="font-weight: bold;"></p><p>'My family and I are incredibly hurt and distressed that after my father was admitted to hospital with meningitis, and seemingly making a recovery, he was left without any of the basic care that he deserved and he needed.'<br> </p>
<img src="" width="306" height="207" alt="King George's Hospital, in Ilford in Essex" class="blkBorder" />
<p class="imageCaption">King George's Hospital, in Ilford, Essex</p>
<p style="font-weight: bold;">Joan Girdiefski is afraid to be admitted to her local hospital following the treatment of her sister Margaret Allen.<br></p><p style="font-weight: bold;">She had been admitted to King George&#8217;s Hospital, in Ilford, Essex, and was suffering from advanced breast cancer. <br></p><p style="font-weight: bold;">Mrs Girdiefski told the Patients Association that when her other sister phoned the ward to ask after Margaret, she was told by a nurse: &#8216;She is screaming away nicely.&#8217;<br></p><p style="font-weight: bold;">She said: &#8216;I would rather die on my own settee than be admitted into the local hospital, because I would hate to depend on people that wouldn&#8217;t care if I either lived or died.&#8217;</p><p style="font-weight: bold;">Sandra Lamb accused a doctor at Birmingham&#8217;s Queen Elizabeth Hospital of acting like God when he refused to promise to resuscitate her father Edward.<br></p><p style="font-weight: bold;">Mrs Lamb said on one evening she had tried to summon a nurse to help the 94-year-old but there was no one on the ward. She then noticed 18 other patients had pressed their &#8216;assistance lights&#8217;.<br></p><p style="font-weight: bold;">When a consultant refused to sign a form promising to resuscitate her father, she told him: &#8216;You are not God. I brought my father here to make him well, not to kill him.&#8217;</p>
<img src="" width="306" height="177" alt="Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham " class="blkBorder" />
<p class="imageCaption">Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham </p>
<p style="font-weight: bold;">Sandra Lamb accused a doctor of acting like God when he refused to promise to resuscitate her 94-year-old father Edward.</p><p style="font-weight: bold;">The elderly man had been admitted to Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham with bowel problems.</p><p style="font-weight: bold;">Mrs Lamb said that on one evening she had tried to summon a nurse to help her father go to the toilet but there was no-one on the ward.</p><p style="font-weight: bold;">She then noticed that &#8216;assistance lights&#8217; had been pressed on the beds of 18 other patients on the wards who had not yet been attended by nurses.</p><p style="font-weight: bold;">And when she tried to get the consultant to sign a form promising to resuscitate her father should the need arise he refused.</p><p style="font-weight: bold;">She said: &#8216;I asked him why he would not resuscitate if necessary and the reason he gave was that he would not be willing to put his signature to.&#8217; </p><p style="font-weight: bold;">Mr Lamb died last September.</p>