Hospital care slammed after death of Burnley dad-of-14

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The family of a father-of-14 who died after surgery at the Royal Blackburn Hospital have told an inquest that he “died uneccessarily as a result of not being treated properly”.

Mr James Redmond, who died aged 87 on January 3rd from bronchial pneumonia, had suffered a fall outside his home in Eastern Avenue, Burnley, the previous November.

The retired bus driver, who moved to Burnley from Ireland in 1945, underwent hip surgery on November 30th at the Royal Blackburn Hospital.

This week the inquest at Burnley Coroner’s Court was adjourned for a pre-inquest review by East Lancashire Coroner Mr Richard Taylor who wishes to gather more evidence. It is likely an inquest lasting several days will be held next year.

Six of Mr Redmond’s children and his wife Irene (87) attended the inquest where they heard evidence from pathologist Dr Walid Salman.

Dr Salman, who carried out the post-mortem examination, gave the cause of death as bronchial pneumonia.

One of Mr Redmond’s sons, also called James, said: “My father was physically very able. He was a guide in a local rambling society and would walk around five miles with his dogs every day. He was also mum’s principal carer. I come from a nursing background and have very serious concerns about my father’s care while in the Royal Blackburn Hospital.

“I live in Kent now, but used my annual leave so I could be at the hospital. Basic nursing care just wasn’t happening.

“Some of the staff on the ward were very helpful, but they were in the minority. His oral hygiene was absolutely appalling. It didn’t seem like there was any experience among the staff on the ward.

“It is our family’s belief that our dad died unnecessarily as a result of not being treated properly.”

Mr Redmond added he was concerned his father had become dehydrated and as result was agitated and confused, which led to further problems.

He said: “The notes on my father record said he was occasionally violent and awkward when it came to taking fluids and medication, but basic nursing care should have got past that. The plan to manage his agitation was diazepam. His notes say out of a possible 18 doses it was given just twice. This was preventing everything else from happening.”

The pre-inquest review will be held on December 10th.

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