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Learning lessons of man's death at Manorlands hospice in Oxenhope
6:20am Friday 18th October 2013 in News
A hospice is to carry out a series of investigations so it can “learn lessons” from the death of a former magistrate.
An inquest in Bradford on Tuesday heard how although 76-year-old Jack Williamson was alleged to have disappeared from Manorlands in Oxenhope only days before he died there on July 31, 2011, there were no official records he had done so.
His widow, Valerie, showed assistant coroner Dr Dominic Bell a picture of her husband, which she said had been handed to her as a keepsake by a nurse after his death.
She claimed the nurse explained they had it taken in case he went missing again and they needed to give it to police.
The origin of the photograph was just one of a series of key concerns Mr Williamson’s family raised during the five-hour hearing.
The inquest heard doctors had filled in a ‘do not resuscitate’ form without consulting Mr Williamson because they believed discussing it would distress him. They had not discussed it with his family either.
And although hospice records included notes Mrs Williamson had been told her husband was nearing the end of his life and was being put on the Liverpool Care Pathway, she had not fully understood what it meant.
Neither had her children been told by staff that the palliative process had begun, although it was they who got him admitted in the hope his medication could be made more effective and that their mother would get some respite.
A leaflet about coping with death had been handed to the family, but there was also concern a nurse had not allowed them to give their father a drink when he was thirsty.
Mr Williamson’s eldest son, Mark, told the inquest hearing: “We accept my father was going to die and the inquest finishes here, but we do feel there are things to be taken into consideration.”
Dr Bell concluded Mr Williamson, of Ogden Crescent in Denholme, died from natural causes from bronchial pneumonia and his malignant mesothelioma.
He said he accepted overall evidence from hospice consultant Dr Helen Livingstone that treatment decisions were appropriate and Mr Williamson’s care had been in line with contemporary palliative care standards.
“It’s more to do with interface between the hospice and the family,” he said, accepting undertakings from the hospice it would work with the family and carry out investigations into their concerns.
Dr Livingstone said: “We always strive for the highest standard of care, and are only too glad to learn from the experiences the family have to make things better.”
Addressing the family, hospice manager Elizabeth Procter said: “It’s exceptionally important we learn from things that have not gone well, and we want to work with you on things we didn’t get quite right.”
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