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.”