Elderly patient's 'hell on earth' in Blackburn Hospital

EXTRACTS from an elderly patient’s diary, which described the Royal Blackburn Hospital as ‘hell on earth’, have been published to highlight failings at a troubled hospital trust.

Sharon Kinlin-Martin has revealed the diary notes made by her mum Joan after reading last week’s Keogh Report, which made wide-ranging criticisms of East Lanc-ashire Hospitals NHS Trust.

Mrs Kinlin-Martin said the report had come too late for Joan, from Burnley, who had been admitted to the Royal Blackburn a number of times before her death at the hospital in June 2011, aged 81.

However the hospital said a complaint by the family had been fully investigated.

During a week-long stay in 2008, the Wycoller Road resident wrote in her diary: “Still in hospital. Terrible Place. Blackburn Hospital. Hell on earth. I think it’s the new bedlam they are making here.....Can’t move for pain. Injured when I fell at first. They don’t know what it is and a lot of the staff don’t care either.”

Sir Bruce Keogh, medical director of NHS England, last week found there was a poor standard of care at the East Lancs trust due to a ‘significant shortage’ of nurses and junior doctors, which was attributed to poor leadership.

Mrs Kinlin-Martin, who lives in Dorset, said: “I welcome the recommend-ations in the Keogh Report and its revelations on the serious issues that for far too long have undermined the quality of care local people deserve and should be able to expect as their right.”

She also called for the trust’s chief executive, Mark Brearley, to resign.

Mrs Kinlin-Martin ‘firmly believes’ her mum’s death at the hospital could have been avoided, claiming she was placed on an ‘end-of-life’ care protocol in 2011 without the family’s permission. However, her version of events has been disputed by Mr Brearley, who has been chief executive for two years.

Mr Brearley said a formal complaint was fully invest-igated by senior managers and clinicians, but Mrs Kinlin-Martin then took the case to the health service ombudsman, who is still investigating.

When asked last week if he had considered resign-ing over the Keogh findings, he said: “I think we’ve made improvements in the last two years and I’m committed to deliv-ering this action plan, I’ve still got a job to do.”

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