Family demand answers after ‘hell on earth’ hospital diary

Royal Blackburn Hospital.
Royal Blackburn Hospital.

The family of a Burnley grandmother, who kept a diary of her treatment in hospital before she died in which she called it “hell on earth,” demanded answers from health bosses at a public meeting.

The event, organised by the Care Quality Commission, formed part of a wider re-inspection of care at Burnley General and the Royal Blackburn Hospitals after the trust which runs both sites was placed into special measures last summer.

Last week CQC inspectors visited East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust and a listening event for members of the public was held at Burnley Mechanics.

Joan Kinlin (81), of Wycoller Avenue, died in the Royal Blackburn Hospital on June 1st 2011.

Her family claimed she was subjected to a catalogue of neglect and Mrs Kinlin herself wrote about her own concerns in a diary she kept while in hospital.

Her daughter, Mrs Sharon Kinlin-Martin, has since taken the case to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman but while the findings of that investigation found there were failings in Mrs Kinlin’s care, Mrs Kinlin-Martin feels that the report should have been more critical and that staff should have been held accountable.

In a statement to the CQC listening event Mrs Kinlin-Martin said: “Those responsible for this have escaped reprimand and I am left with an overwhelming sense of injustice.

“There is a feeling that the report has covered over what might raise the alert over risks to patients.

“If the Ombudsman and the Trust have not adequately addressed what happened and if honesty and transparency remain simply an ideal, rather than a reality, then patients are still at risk and I believe they remain at risk at Royal Blackburn Hospital.

“I feel this ward really needs serious investigation as I believe that patient safety has been compromised.”

No one from the Care Quality Commission was available for comment.