Disgust at hospital’s ‘neglect’ of man, 81
�The family of an 81-year-old man have come forward to reveal that his nutrition, care and even safety were neglected for months on the wards of the Royal Free Hospital, where he contracted MRSA and broke his arm during his stay.
The revelations follow a Care Quality Commission report on care for the elderly at the Hampstead hospital.
After 51 years of marriage Sadie Jones, 81, was “disgusted” to find her husband Terence slumped over his bed with his face in his food after being admitted to the hospital in November 2008 with shingles and the underlying condition of Leukaemia.
Sadie and Terence, an ex-navy engineer who worked on London buses, married at Islington registry office in 1958 and lived in Hendon Park Road for 50 years.
But a catalogue of neglect from some staff at the hospital left the family believing that Mr Jones gave up the will to live because his quality of life was so reduced.
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The final straw for the family was when Mr Jones fell and broke his arm getting into an ambulance in the Royal Free car park in January 2009. The break was not spotted for two days. Certain this had happened because he was not given adequate assistance, Michael Jones officially complained but was told there was no CCTV available for the area. Less than two months later, Mr Jones died.
The family decided to speak out after recognising many familiar criticisms from the CQC report, such as staff often placing a meal in front of Mr Jones and leaving.
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His son Michael Jones, 40, said that some of the nurses had a “poor attitude” when it came to food. He said: “If we complained, the nurses and assistants were often defensive and unhelpful.”
These frustrations were compounded in December 2008 when Mr Jones’ false teeth were lost on the ward.
He kept them in glass by his bed and the family assumed they were thrown out by a cleaner. Mr Jones said: “I reported this to staff as soon as I found out but it was never resolved despite repeated protestations from myself.
“Everyone I spoke to had the attitude that it wasn’t their problem and just passed the buck.”
From December until his death on March 1 2009, Mr Jones was unable to chew his food properly. Meanwhile he also became infected with MRSA which further depleted his immune system.
A spokeswoman for the Royal Free said she has not yet been able to contact Mr Jones’s son to discuss the issues.
She added: “We offer our sincerest condolences to the family for their loss. We are sorry that there are outstanding concerns about his care.”