Search

Fury of cancer dad’s family as death complaints to Royal Free go unheard for year-and-a-half

10:21 07 February 2014

Lee Grimstone before he became ill

Lee Grimstone before he became ill

Archant

The family of a young father who died suffering multi-organ failure less than two weeks after ­being told he was well enough to leave hospital, claim their complaints have “fallen on deaf ears”.

Lee Grimstone was also sent to a Premier Inn to ­recuperate from chemotherapy ­for T cell lymphoma after being told it was “safer” than being in a hospital bed.

In August 2012 he died at 33, a week before the first birthday of his son Dylan.

Five months earlier he had been diagnosed with cancer and battled a number of ailments during treatment before contracting pneumonia.

Less than two weeks before his death, doctors at the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead discharged him, claiming he was well enough to go back to his home in Surrey – although he was still vomiting and suffering hallucinations.

Then the father-of-two collapsed and was admitted to the Royal Free’s A&E department, where staff found he was suffering kidney failure, liver failure, septic shock and pneumonia. He died in the hospital just nine days later.

Well over a year after his death, Mr Grimstone’s family has been unable to get to the bottom of how he was allowed to leave the hospital despite being so seriously ill.

They claim that it took the Royal Free five months to respond to a letter of complaint, while a number of face-to-face meetings have been cancelled.

Despite receiving “excellent” care at another London hospital, family members said that Mr Grimstone had to “fight from the very start” to be given proper treatment at the Royal Free.

His sister, Jayne Grimstone, said: “We first started worrying after Lee developed lesions all over his body and asked the hospital for a diagnosis.

“After more than a year suffering in agony, and with the hospital shrugging their shoulders saying they didn’t know what was wrong, he effectively begged them to ­admit him.

“It was only then, and after he had chased them for an answer, that they found out he had cancer.”

While being treated with chemotherapy, Mr Grimstone was put up in the Premier Inn across the road.

Family members said that an underlying illness he suffered from birth, on top of his cancer treatment, meant he was left to walk the streets of Hampstead with “effectively no immune system”.

Doctors later told them that the threat from hospital bugs, like the superbug MRSA, meant a room in the Premier Inn may have been safer than a ward.

An internal investigation later revealed that he had died riddled with “severe infections”.

Lee’s widow and mother of Dylan, Lucy Grimstone, who lives in Surrey, said that the family’s battle to get answers from the hospital had been “a nightmare”.

They claimed that at one point they were denied access to his medical records. “Lee suffered his entire life with a rare disorder but it wasn’t this that killed him,” she said. We just feel so let down and we want to make sure care that the Royal Free is as safe as they claim it to be.

“He’s left behind a young family and we don’t want anything like this to happen to anyone else.”

In a statement, the hospital said that it was “sorry” for the delays in responding to the complaints.

The hospital said that staff were in regular contact with the Premier Inn to ensure conditions were suitable for patients and the hospital had not received any negative feedback from Mr Grimstone during his stay.

The spokesman said: “We would like to extend our deepest sympathies to Mr Grimstone’s family for their loss and we are extremely sorry to hear that they are unhappy with the treatment he received at the Royal Free.

“A thorough investigation took place following a complaint from Mr Grimstone’s family and due to the complexity of the case and the range of specialities involved, there was a delay in sending a ­response.

“The delay was acknowledged in the response letter and apologised for, and we would once again like to apologise for that delay.

“We understand that after the investigation was complete, Mr Grimstone’s family wished to ­organise a meeting to discuss the findings further.

‘‘We are sorry that it has taken so long to schedule a meeting and the complaints team hopes to be able to arrange a meeting which will suit all parties as soon as possible.”

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Yesterday, 17:25
Striking junior doctors outside the Royal Free Hospital during a national day of action 10.02.16.

Junior doctors protested on the picket lines of the Whittington and Royal Free hospitals today after staging a second walk-out.

Yesterday, 16:43
A basement excavation next door to AIR studios could leave  the famous recording venue out of action

Camden planners have made a U-turn by ruling that an 11,700-strong petition against a basement development next to AIR studios will not be ignored.

Yesterday, 16:30
Alex Lyons with her children Oscar, five, and Benjy, three.   Picture: Nigel Sutton

Haringey Council has U-turned on its plan to close a loophole allowing families to secure places for their children at some of the borough’s most popular primary schools even after moving miles away from catchment areas.

Yesterday, 16:07
Roundway

Day centres for autistic, vulnerable, and disabled people cannot be saved by using money raised from a proposed two per cent council tax rise, Haringey Council’s cabinet has ruled.

Yesterday, 10:30
Ergun Yasar will be sentenced next week

A man from Crouch End has admitted being part of a gang which cheated a casino in Paddington out of thousands of pounds by ‘card swapping’.

Yesterday, 09:35
Striking junior doctors outside the Whittington Hospital during a national day of action 10.02.16.

Junior doctors have walked out of the Royal Free and Whittington hospitals for the second time in weeks over contract disputes.

Tue, 21:05
Haringey Council Civic Centre

Haringey Council has U-turned on its plan to close a loophole allowing families to secure places for their children at some of the borough’s most popular schools even after moving miles away from catchment areas.

Tue, 17:29
Tulip Siddiq with volunteers from Royal Free young volunteers programme

Inspirational young volunteers were praised in parliament for their ‘amazing’ contribution to the Royal Free NHS trust.

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Sony Smart Ultra HD 55'' LED TV

Enjoy the ultimate entertainment experience in your living room with the Sony Smart Ultra 55’’ LED TV. Be the envy of all your friends with this huge TV- you can change your living room into your own cinema! Get the boys around to watch the football or get the girls around to watch the DVD of 50 Shades.. this is a prize that everyone would enjoy! Stand a chance to upgrade your current entertainment system by wining this fantastic prize.

Surface Pro 4

Technology is ever evolving. We are constantly being shown new technology that is innovative, revolutionary and designed to make life easier for us all. Gone are the days of dial up modems and computers so large you needed half a room to store it. We are in the age of smooth, small and sleek. Companies are all trying their best to create technology that is easy to transport and guaranteed to be user friendly.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe