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(28 Posts)
POGS Tue 03-Jul-12 22:38:53

Am I the only one to be absolutely disgusted to read the story of Kane Gorny, aged 22 who died of neglect in the St. George Hospital, Tooting.

He had gone in for a hip replacement but died of dehydration due to neglect by the staff. The poor lad had battled with cancer of the pituitary gland and his medication had weakened his bones, hence the need for a hip replacement. The hospital were informed of the need to ensure his medication was kept up and to control his fluid levels, without this happening he would die.

He had to resort to ringing 999 and when the police arrived at the hospital they were turned away and the nurses informed the police he was in a confused state. He was, because they had not given him medication nor water, hence the coroner has referred the case to the police. The lad was put into a side room and died a few hours later.

He had been observed by locum doctors and nursing staff but it was not until a doctor was doing his rounds that they realised they were battling to save his life. To add further injury the doctor said "You need to go and see your son. He's dying". They found their son lying in blood and fluid soaked sheets and a nurse asked THEM to help change the sheets. The same nurse later came into the matron's office and asked whether they were 'finished' saying "CAN I BAG HIM UP".

The death certificate said Mr Gorny died of 'water deficit' and hypernatraemia, known as dehydration. Nurses at the hospital were you will be pleased to know received counselling,reportedly.

Please do not blame the 'Cuts' this took place in May 2009. The inquest continues and is still being considered by the Crown Prosecution Service.

nanaej Tue 03-Jul-12 23:02:13

Sounds like a terrible, terrible situation and it is good that the inquest is fully investigating the circumstances . His family deserve every sympathy and support to find out the full facts of this awful case.
I would not necessarily blame the cuts for any failure of duty of care. However my personal experience of St George's has been very, very positive. I, friends and family have had excellent care there over many years.
I think it is also true to say that the NHS has been under pressure to save money for some while.

Anagram Tue 03-Jul-12 23:25:12

I would agree with your point that the NHS has been under pressure to cut costs for a very long time, nanaej, but the problem this tragic case highlights is the utter incompetence and lack of basic caring skills of the staff in question. (I have read the full article online). There didn't seem to be a shortage of staff, it was just that they seemed more concerned that the patient might make a fuss, and their main priority was to keep him quiet.

Mishap Wed 04-Jul-12 08:34:33

This does not surprise me, having worked in hospitals for many years - many relatives stayed by bedsides all day simply to make sure that food and drink were given in a manner in which the patient was able to consume them.

There are pockets of wonderful care, but, as we have discussed before, some nurses are too well-qualified to sully their hands with something as boring as nutrition. It is very sad.

absentgrana Wed 04-Jul-12 10:00:40

POGS Of course, you're not. Anyone who read the report in any newspaper cannot be anything other than outraged and horrified. The poor young man's treatment (or lack of it) and the manner in which his family was spoken to were disgraceful and unforgivable.

vegasmags Wed 04-Jul-12 10:25:18

What a tragic case and, unfortunately, an all too familiar story. My hope is that the Crown Prosecution Service decides that there is a case to answer as I fear that this kind of abuse will continue until individuals are held responsible for their actions or failure to act. Teachers, train drivers, restaurant owners etc would soon find themselves in court if derelection of duty put others in harms way, yet we seem content to allow the medical and nursing professions to self regulate.

I feel particularly strongly about this at the moment as the husband of a dear friend of mine - he is in his 80s with multiple health problems, including dementia - recently had a 4 month stay in an NHS ward. During this time, he lost 27lb in weight as no one could be bothered to feed him, broke his femur after falling out of bed as someone 'forgot' to put up the side rails and had to be operated on for an abscess in his groin. This latter developed as the poor man was left to lie in his own filth for long periods of time. The story has a relatively happy ending as he is now in an EMI (Elderly Mental Institute) where, despite its scary name, he is receiving good care at the hands of devoted staff.

Annobel Wed 04-Jul-12 11:04:30

Proves it's not just the elderly that are victims of heartless and heedless staff in our hospitals although they are most commonly in this situation. Let's hope that the publicity given to this case gets through to the authorities and jolts them out of their complacency.

Lilygran Wed 04-Jul-12 11:30:35

This is a really distressing case and you feel for the family who were doing everything they could, as the patient himself was. What I find bewildering about the way the NHS operates is the way you can find really excellent care and treatment in one place and really dire conditions somewhere else, sometimes in the same hospital. The local papers are full of heartfelt tributes to hospitals and nurses and I read somewhere that most people think their local hospital is OK. At one point, my aunt (89) and my mother (91) were in two different hospitals in the same Trust; my aunt was cared for with kindness and efficiency but I actually made a formal complaint about my mother's treatment. The response was bland and unsatisfactory. Among other worrying issues which I didn't complain about, they had reduced visiting hours to combat infection confused so no visitors were there at mealtimes and no staff were visible during visiting hours. You had to make an appointment to speak to a doctor!

Greatnan Wed 04-Jul-12 11:38:36

According to the NHS's own figures, one in ten patients in UK hospitals will suffer some kind of 'unintended injury'.
Whistleblowers have frequently been ostracised, harassed, denied promotion or forced out of their jobs. (Private Eye has done some excellent investigative journalism on this subject).
I know from very bitter personal experience how an incompetent surgeon can be allowed to continue operating for years after complaints have been made and the way other medical professionals close ranks to cover up negligence.
If you suspect that you or one of your family has been subjected to any kind of medical error or negligence, it is vitally important that you keep detailed notes, try to get photos, and make a note of the name of all staff involved.
Yes, I do know that the majority of health professionals are hardworking, honest and competent, but if you are damaged by one of the minority you may find it extremely difficult to get redress.

AlisonMA Wed 04-Jul-12 11:44:00

This is appalling.

The maternity department at St George's is brilliant. Both my DGs were born there, the first premature and spent 2 weeks in the special baby unit and the second was induced and Mum said in both cases she was treated very well. She is an older mum with type 1 diabetes and got the specialist care she needed.

Why don't they have charts showing how much people have eaten and drunk? Surely that would solve issues like this? Does anything happen to your blood pressure, pulse or oxygen levels when you are dehydrated? These are always checked and recorded.

Lilygran Wed 04-Jul-12 11:49:00

They should always be checked and recorded......

Mishap Wed 04-Jul-12 11:56:34

It is all very sad really - a sense of vocation and service to others is missing at times.

I persuaded my father to let Mum go into hospital for a week while he took a much-needed break - she had a severe dementia illness with Parkinsonism (Lewy Body Disease) and was in addition feisty and stroppy and poor Dad was tearing his hair out.

He came to stay with us and on the first night we had a call from the hospital to warn him that when he saw her she would look a bit battered as she had fallen out of her bed (someone forgot to put the side up) and had a black eye and broken cheek bone.

The consultant decided to trial her off her medication during her stay and she went downhill and never returned home - she was in hospital for months and then in a home till she died. The consultant had the grace to apologise for his decision later - he did it in spite of the fact that we told him there was clear evidence that she improved about an hour after taking it and we did not want it stopped.

I have never forgiven myself for persuading Dad to let her go in - but it was done with the best of motives.

POGS Wed 04-Jul-12 12:23:26


My lovely mum died of Pancreatitis. Five days before we were putting plants in the garden. Mum was going like a whirley dervish and I said "I'm sorry mum but I can't do anymore". Mum was really upset with me and I said "I'll tell you something I'm not I'm not doing this again next year", very sharply. Little did I know how saying that would be so apt.

That will haunt me too for the rest of my life as that evening she was rushed to hospital, I think she knew was in immense difficulty and just wanted to do something for me. I never had the chance to say sorry.

I won't say to you forgive yourself because clearly you won't. It has sadly happened to the best of us, you are not alone. flowers

HildaW Wed 04-Jul-12 12:25:53

Mishap, I know its easy for others to say but please try to give your self a break as to the guilt you feel. Am pretty sure I would have done the same, in fact we just about did. Caring for a relative with any form of dementia is too much for just about anyone. We needed a break from FIL and found respite so difficult to find (in anywhere you would be happy to place a pet let alone a dearly loved relative). In the end we did find somewhere newly opened and with a lovely country house atmosphere and FIL was happy to move in full-time eventually and - we got our lives back. However, through no real neglect of theirs he did fall 6 months later and broke his hip and then took 3 weeks to die. All very sad and just perhaps, if he was still with us it might not have happened BUT I do honestly think either my husband or I would have been a complete basket case and certainly our marriage would have been in dire trouble.

Please try to see what you encouraged your father to do as probably the only solution to a dreadful situation. We can only do the best we can with what we have and with what the 'experts' tell us, so please do try to be kind to yourself about it. All the best to you.

gillybob Wed 04-Jul-12 13:41:21

O MISHAP its not you that should be beating yourself up for this. It is the hospital and staff that neglected your poor mum !

I totally understand how you feel as we had to make the heartbreaking decision to hospitalize my grandad who was suffering from advanced PD and too many other conditions to go into. It got to the point where my granny didn't feel safe and could no longer look after him at home. He pleaded not to be left in hospital crying "don't leave me here, I beg you don't leave me here". It breaks my heart thinking about it, but we really had no choice. Only a week later he died.

The staff responsible for the death of this young man should not be (and probably should never have been) nurses or doctors. I think to be in a caring profession you should be a caring person and sadly too many are just going through the motions (or not as the case may be).

janthea Wed 04-Jul-12 14:39:18

I know people complain about staff cuts, but I don't think this situation was caused that that. It was probably caused by lack of compassion and experience. As gillybog said, they shouldn't have been nurses or doctors!

gillybob Wed 04-Jul-12 14:58:37

gillybog grin grin I do talk a load of poop most of the time so probably more appropriate !

janthea Wed 04-Jul-12 15:25:18

Whoops gillybob Typing too fast and not checking it! Sorreeee! grin

Mishap Wed 04-Jul-12 22:28:48

Thanks for your supportive postings. I have had to come to terms with what happened - there is no turning the clock back. Had I known the quality of care she would receive in the hospital I guess I would have taken a different decision, but the retrospectoscope is a wonderful instrument denied to us all!
We felt badly let down.

However the situation at home had become quite untenable and I wish there had been some other solution.

glammanana Wed 04-Jul-12 23:30:29

mishap ((hugs)) and flowers It took me a long while to get over not taking the complaint about my mum not being fed further when a patient in the next bed told me that her food was served and taken away just after she had been given her injection of morphine,and not in any state to eat it,no help was given at all,it was all brushed under the carpet.

dorsetpennt Thu 05-Jul-12 16:31:12

All of us Gransnetters who were nurses must be disgusted by this story and the callous nature by which this young man was treated. I have said it on other threads so I'm not going to repeat myself. Suffice to say that on paper many present-day nurses look good but a good many of them are not the true nurses that there used to be in our hospitals. By all means raised the old State Registered Nurses to a degree level. But lets not lose track of what nursing really means. Care and welfare of your patients is far more important and it just aint happening.

POGS Thu 05-Jul-12 16:58:08


I totally agree with you. There is no better training than 'hands on'. It also gives the student nurse an insight as to whether or not it is the vocation he/she thought it would be. Two years in a university setting is not a good way to learn and it could be quite a shock when once their course is over to be placed in a work place they should have absolute knowledge of but they don't.

I think a lot of student nurses actually leave due to the fact they suddenly realise this is not what they want to do. A waste of money for them and the N.H.S. Also there must be some who have completed their course and will try and stick with it because of all the hard work they have given to passing their exams.

There is a distinct dividing line in nursing between those who are dedicated, empathetic and good at their chosen vocation and those who are lazy, unkind and find the job beneath them. Sadly there have been some terrible stories for years now, Stafford Hospital etc. There are cases such as this one where nothing short of a manslaughter conviction will stop this neglect of patients.

jeni Thu 05-Jul-12 16:58:46

I think most of you know my feelings about modern day medicine. It is all about the disease and never mind the patient.
I see so many people who are either misdiagnosed or wrongly treated, it makes blood boil.
I'm glad I'm not in clinical practice any more.

whitewave Thu 05-Jul-12 17:25:51

When my mother was in hospital for a time there was a little old lady next to her who was constantly asking for a drink and seemingly ignored. We aleays gave her water, but Mum said no-one else seemed to and she couldn't manage to feed herself. What should one do in this case who could you approach? What really irritated me were the nurses at the station chattering away and laughing but apparently "extremely busy" Doesn't the ward sister have any say in behaviour etc? I wish I had been that busy at work.

POGS Fri 06-Jul-12 16:41:59

Here we go again!

Laura Garner, 18 died of septicaemia and a bacterial infection due to lack of care by Bradford Royal Infirmary. A consultant surgeon said routine testing for patient's pulse, blood pressure and temperature are given low priority. They are called CINDERELLA TASKS and carried out by less qualified staff.

Staff twice failed to carry out a senior doctors instructions to give her antibiotics and failed to check on her. The crash trolley used to resuscitate the poor girl was missing defibrillation pads!!!. Basic common sense for any nursing personnel.

The year 2009. The coroner used his powers to recommend policies at the hospital concerning observations be improved. So that's all right then.