Basildon Hospital refused to resuscitate elderly patient following series of blunders

First published in Echo News by

A ELDERLY man who died after doctors refused to resuscitate him received an unsatisfactory level of care at Basildon Hospital.

An inquest into the death of 79 year-old John Flockhart, from South Ockendon, heard how he had a 40 percent chance of survival when he was admitted with chest pains, which turned out to be severe pneumonia.

Coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray recorded a narrative verdict and highlighted a series of blunders from the hospital.

Staff failed to communicate with each other and the observation chart detailing Mr Flockhart’s most recent medical updates went missing, meaning doctors and nurses were unaware of changes to his condition.

In a further blunder neither Mr Flockhart or his family were made aware of a DNR order put in place stating that he should not be resuscitated if he went into cardiac arrest.

After being admitted to Basildon Hospital on November 26, 2008, Mr Flockhart was described as happy and chatty, but noticeably suffering from lack of breath.

His pneumonia, which originally went undetected, took a dramatic turn for the worse at around 10pm the following day and his heart stopped two hours later whilst his distraught daughter, Sharon Flockhart, pleaded with nurses on the phone to resuscitate him.

Miss Flockhart, from London, said: “My dad was seriously ill but what we will never know is if he could have survived if staff had acted quicker.

“We appreciate that it is sometimes appropriate to put a resuscitation order in place, however we feel that it should be indicated to the patient themselves or family representatives. We now want to urge other people to be brave enough to raise the issue of DNR decisions with doctors. We were stripped of the opportunity to seek a second opinion.”
 

Comments (8)

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8:41am Sat 13 Oct 12

Discouraged says...

Why do notes so often go missing when a patient dies or has a near miss?
Why do notes so often go missing when a patient dies or has a near miss? Discouraged
  • Score: 8

3:35pm Sat 13 Oct 12

emcee says...

Discouraged wrote:
Why do notes so often go missing when a patient dies or has a near miss?
For convenience.
[quote][p][bold]Discouraged[/bold] wrote: Why do notes so often go missing when a patient dies or has a near miss?[/p][/quote]For convenience. emcee
  • Score: 3

5:04pm Sat 13 Oct 12

jolllyboy says...

We hear all too often that the elderly are not being care for or treated in the correct manner. There is no excuse whatsoever. How can experienced medical staff not notice a deterioration in a condition ! It does not need notes to see someone is that ill.
We hear all too often that the elderly are not being care for or treated in the correct manner. There is no excuse whatsoever. How can experienced medical staff not notice a deterioration in a condition ! It does not need notes to see someone is that ill. jolllyboy
  • Score: 3

6:18pm Sat 13 Oct 12

Ironman says...

jolllyboy wrote:
We hear all too often that the elderly are not being care for or treated in the correct manner. There is no excuse whatsoever. How can experienced medical staff not notice a deterioration in a condition ! It does not need notes to see someone is that ill.
They are so sh*t scared of litigation, the notes have become more important than the patient.
[quote][p][bold]jolllyboy[/bold] wrote: We hear all too often that the elderly are not being care for or treated in the correct manner. There is no excuse whatsoever. How can experienced medical staff not notice a deterioration in a condition ! It does not need notes to see someone is that ill.[/p][/quote]They are so sh*t scared of litigation, the notes have become more important than the patient. Ironman
  • Score: 2

7:01am Sun 14 Oct 12

JuliaM says...

"We appreciate that it is sometimes appropriate to put a resuscitation order in place, however we feel that it should be indicated to the patient themselves or family representatives."

Umm, no. It should be AGREED with the patient or relatives!
"We appreciate that it is sometimes appropriate to put a resuscitation order in place, however we feel that it should be indicated to the patient themselves or family representatives." Umm, no. It should be AGREED with the patient or relatives! JuliaM
  • Score: 2

7:26am Mon 15 Oct 12

Ian P says...

JuliaM wrote:
"We appreciate that it is sometimes appropriate to put a resuscitation order in place, however we feel that it should be indicated to the patient themselves or family representatives." Umm, no. It should be AGREED with the patient or relatives!
I would go further than that. No DNR should be valid unless actually signed by the patient or a member of the patient's immediate family.
[quote][p][bold]JuliaM[/bold] wrote: "We appreciate that it is sometimes appropriate to put a resuscitation order in place, however we feel that it should be indicated to the patient themselves or family representatives." Umm, no. It should be AGREED with the patient or relatives![/p][/quote]I would go further than that. No DNR should be valid unless actually signed by the patient or a member of the patient's immediate family. Ian P
  • Score: 0

8:54am Wed 17 Oct 12

ttsgr says...

something must be done,found a dnr form amongst my dads belongings,he dosnt remember signing it ,was admitted slightly confused with high blood pressure at basildon hospital,his only 77
something must be done,found a dnr form amongst my dads belongings,he dosnt remember signing it ,was admitted slightly confused with high blood pressure at basildon hospital,his only 77 ttsgr
  • Score: 0

2:49pm Wed 31 Oct 12

Almeda11 says...

Lack of communication, as stated in the article always leads to misunderstandind and assumptions, why don`t people in this country COMMUNICATE better.
This is what happened in the baby Peter case, in spite of 50 visits the naive social workers continuously fobbed of with excuses by the devious parents, and the various depts, ie police, hospitals and social services, simply DID NOT COMMUNICATE.
In another case, a young woman was told late at night on a bus that her fare didn`t cover her for the last 2 stops, so she was slung off despite her pleas to the driver and subsequently raped on the way home. NONE of the other passengers on that bus even offered to give her the measly 20p which she was short of. Again, total lack of communication as well as lack of humanity and common decency.
l really despair of this country and l think in many ways we are emotionally backward, and as for that hospital, l have heard many other horror stories, l think a hit team should be permanently stationed there to monitor everything, and l mean everything that goes on there, and if that doesn`t work, well fine them millions, l`m sure that would concentrate the minds of all who work there!
Lack of communication, as stated in the article always leads to misunderstandind and assumptions, why don`t people in this country COMMUNICATE better. This is what happened in the baby Peter case, in spite of 50 visits the naive social workers continuously fobbed of with excuses by the devious parents, and the various depts, ie police, hospitals and social services, simply DID NOT COMMUNICATE. In another case, a young woman was told late at night on a bus that her fare didn`t cover her for the last 2 stops, so she was slung off despite her pleas to the driver and subsequently raped on the way home. NONE of the other passengers on that bus even offered to give her the measly 20p which she was short of. Again, total lack of communication as well as lack of humanity and common decency. l really despair of this country and l think in many ways we are emotionally backward, and as for that hospital, l have heard many other horror stories, l think a hit team should be permanently stationed there to monitor everything, and l mean everything that goes on there, and if that doesn`t work, well fine them millions, l`m sure that would concentrate the minds of all who work there! Almeda11
  • Score: 1

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