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Death in hospital

(27 Posts)
Nana3 Wed 18-Nov-15 07:59:01

My Dad died in hospital on Monday morning. The nurse phoned and said he was very poorly and would not last an hour. When we arrived 50 or so minutes later she said he had just died.
Yesterday 3 people told me the same happened to them and it's a hospital policy to say this even though your relative is actually dead when you get that first call. Can this be true?

whitewave Wed 18-Nov-15 08:07:25

Oh no! I am sure this doesn't happen, what would be the point.

Condolences nana

MiniMouse Wed 18-Nov-15 08:07:46

Nana3 So sorry to hear your news.

This happened to me, too, except my DM was in a care home. I was horrified that they hadn't told me - especially as we raced there in the hope of saying a final goodbye. I was told that it was done that way to make it less of a shock - well, that didn't work sad We weren't even told on arrival, so to walk into her room and realise that she'd already died was awful. I don't understand this new policy or why it's been implemented. flowers for you

glammanana Wed 18-Nov-15 08:12:58

Condolences to you and your family Nana3 on your sad loss,could it be that maybe the Hospital do not want family members dashing to the Hospital in an upset frame of mind and possibly putting themselves at risk whilst driving other wise I cannot think of any other reason for this

hildajenniJ Wed 18-Nov-15 08:18:23

I was a Dementia Nurse in a care home before I retired. The company policy was to say that the relative was very poorly. I never adhered to this policy, believing that it was better to be truthful and give relatives a shock, rather than let them hope for a last goodbye. Particularly if it was an unexplained, sudden death. I dreaded making that phone call, but had to on several occasions during my career. My mother died in hospital during the night, they rang my sister who was designated NOK, and told her, so it can't be the policy across the whole of the NHS.

Anya Wed 18-Nov-15 08:36:28

Sorry to hear about your Dad nana3 flowers

shysal Wed 18-Nov-15 08:40:57

How can it be a policy to lie? I am shocked!

Condolences, nana3. flowers

Teetime Wed 18-Nov-15 08:41:47

nana3 please accept my condolences for your loss. I don't think its is policy and certainly wasn't in all the hospitals and care homes I ever worked. I think it would contravene any governance arrangements to be anything less than truthful.

gillybob Wed 18-Nov-15 08:42:17

So very sorry to hear your sad news Nana3 .

My dear grandma died recently in a hospice ward attached to our local hospital. I was called at 1.10 in the morning and told to "get here as quickly (but safely) as possible". I managed it in about 15 minutes but missed her by minutes. I had been sitting with her only a few hours before.

I hold on to the thoughts that I don't think the hospital would have put me through that trauma if they genuinely didn't think there was a chance I could have been there.

sad for you Nana3

aggie Wed 18-Nov-15 08:46:40

My Mum was in hospital after a fall , I rang to see how she was and the Nurse said she could see her from the Station , she is fine , I was told , but just before I put the phone down I heard a commotion and the Nurse said , come quickly , your Mum isn't well ........... she had just died from a PE . I phoned my DSis as she was nearer and she and I met at the ward . This was over 40 years ago , but it is like it was yesterday

ginny Wed 18-Nov-15 08:53:15

So sorry for your loss Nana3

I can't believe that this is policy.

My Dad was at home and I had been with him all afternoon. I went home (just down the road ) when the nurse arrived to sort out our dinner, planning to go back within the hour. 30 minutes later I had a call to say Dad had collapsed and died.

My FIL died last May in hospital. We had been to visit in the afternoon and he was very poorly but chatting to us. We had an early morning call to say he had died suddenly.

I am telling this to illustrate that a person can go very quickly and that nobody should blame themselves if they are not there.

Jane10 Wed 18-Nov-15 09:02:27

I was pretty sure my MiL was dead when we arrived at her ward after a middle of the night phone call. I didn't say I thought this to DH as he was pleased to think he was there as she slipped away. The staff couldn't have been kinder. Perhaps she had died as we rushed through the snow but we'll never know. However it happened I'll always be grateful to the wonderful staff.
BTW -that funny shabby old hospital was so good that naturally they closed it down! Grrr

soontobe Wed 18-Nov-15 09:05:58

Sounds like you are right Nana3.

sad for you and sad for anyone else this sort of thing may happened to.

annsixty Wed 18-Nov-15 09:15:27

This certainly does happen in some situations and some hospitals. My DH was sitting next to a colleague in a meeting when he collapsed and died in minutes. He was taken to hospital and his wife phoned and told to get to the hospital and then told he had died before she arrived . I felt this was kinder than being told over the phone that the man she had seen off to work that morning seemingly well had died. My DH was in a state of shock for days as he had driven them both to the meeting and had to go back alone and tell the rest of their colleagues that R had died.

MiniMouse Wed 18-Nov-15 09:17:48

Just to clarify my earlier post - My DM had died ten minutes before the phone call advising me to hurry to the home to see her before she died. No question of her suddenly departing after the phone call.

janeainsworth Wed 18-Nov-15 09:22:38

nana3 I'm very sorry about your Dad. If you have time, please listen to this. It's a conversation with a Palliative Care Consultant at Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary, Kathryn Mannix, and she talks movingly about the process and moment of dying and about how people often 'wait' until loved ones are not there, before going. I think you will find it a comfort - I did. flowers

Nana3 Wed 18-Nov-15 09:25:04

Thank you for all your kind replies. I'm trying to put the hospital experience behind me now.
The worst part for me was breaking the news to Mum, she cried and cried, they've been married for 68 years, together for 70.
Today I am looking after 2 year old GD, such a joy, must enjoy each moment.

ninathenana Wed 18-Nov-15 10:02:25

Condolences Nana3
I am surprised by this and shocked that it seems to be common.
Mum died in a CH May '14 they phoned me at 1.15am and told me she'd just died. It was sad as I'd been with her until 10pm. I'm glad they didn't have me rushing there on wild goose chase.

friends123 Wed 18-Nov-15 10:11:19

Seems a common occurrence-happened to me too.

glassortwo Wed 18-Nov-15 10:30:21

Condolences Nana3 flowers

My Father died on my birthday in Feb, he was admitted to the RVI that's mentioned in janeA post. He was at home under palliative care from the previous Oct. He was admitted on the early hrs of Saturday and we were allowed into the ward unrestricted. My Mum was with him almost constantly, but I had left her early Sunday afternoon to collect my younger Sister who had driven up from London, while I was collecting her I received a phone call from Mum to say the staff had said we need to get back asap. He died about 8 hrs later with us all present. But I can only say the staff at the RVI were very supportive of us all and kept us informed as to what was happening.

Greyduster Wed 18-Nov-15 10:37:14

nana3 I am so sorry for your loss. janea, that put me in mind of when my sister passed away at home. We - myself, her hubby and his sister - had sat with her all day. In the afternoon, the dog was whining to go out and I opened the door to take him out but he wouldn't go out without my b-i-l, actually pulling at his sleeve. He reluctantly took him out into the garden and within minutes it was obvious that my sister was leaving us. We didn't even manage to get b-i-l in from the garden before she died. He was devastated, and all he could say was "I should have been here - why wasn't I here?" It was awful. I don't know whether I believe she didn't want him to see her die, but it was strange all the same.

Nana3 Wed 18-Nov-15 11:42:28

Something strange happened there, it reflects my state of mind.
Thanks everyone.

littleflo Wed 18-Nov-15 20:00:36

Maybe it depends on the hospital. My mum died last month and we got the call and they told us the time she died.

WilmaKnickersfit Wed 18-Nov-15 20:23:23

I went home to have a shower and get changed when we got a call to get back to the hospital. My Dad died when we were in the lift and I know this because my brother and Step-Mum were with him.

Nana3 my heart goes out to you. flowers

Galen Wed 18-Nov-15 21:23:38

I was with my husband when he died. I asked the staff nurse to ring did and tell her not to come as it would be over BT the time she could get there.
The message was passed as he hadn't got long, so she moved heaven and Earth to get there. It was much too late and as I was in the Sister's office arranging the death certificate, she entered to see a laid out body. Not good!