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NHS Mid-Staffordshire Trust Scandal: How Relatives Watched Loved Ones Suffer Lack Of Care

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A number of relatives have spoken out about the shocking treatment their loved ones received while being treated at Stafford Hospital.

Gillian Peacham, 73, was forced to move into a smaller flat following the death of husband Arthur as she could no longer pay the bills. Mr Peacham, 68, died on March 19 2006 after almost four months in hospital during which time he contracted the infection C Difficile.

gillian peacham

Gillian Peacham talks of the treatment her husband, Arthur, 68, had in the months leading up to his death at Stafford Hospital

"I'd like to see someone accountable actually for what happened at Stafford. I would like some answers and I would like someone to just stand up and say 'We're sorry' because nobody's done that yet.

"I'm sceptical really, because I just think that it's perhaps too late really for anybody to be accountable. It happened and what we need now is an assurance that it won't happen again.

"I would call for criminal convictions, obviously. The CEO that was there at the time - I do feel perhaps wasn't qualified really to handle what was going on at the hospital.

"I'm on my own living in a flat when I should be in a lovely old farmhouse that we were in having a good life, and it's just so, so sad.

"I couldn't afford to live there any more and I lost my retirement with Arthur and my future with him.

"It's something that we can't get over really. We can just hope that it gets easier to bear.

Mr Peacham was admitted to hospital in December 2005, just two weeks after he retired, when he was suffering from back pain following a hernia operation - and he never returned home. He once rang her from the hospital in a "hysterical" state after a man, who was suffering from C Difficile, dropped dead in front of him.

"I just don't know what we'll do, because we've been hanging on waiting for the inquiry to finish and the report to be published, and I just hope that they've got it right and blame is where it should be, and this will never happen again."

NHS Scandal Report Into Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Due

Denise Harrison's mother died after a combination of illness, a botched operation and contracting a bug at the hospital. Ms Harrison said that her mother Dorothy Harrison died after spending nine weeks in the "hell hole".

Her mother was admitted in December 2008 suffering with pain relating to Crohn's Disease, so medics recommended an operation to rectify it, which was was a success. But wo days later her mother was admitted to the critical care unit after developing pneumonia, and she contracted a bug. But in late December her mother was taken off her ventilator and transferred to a general ward - ward 7.

"Things just went from bad to worse. They moved her in the middle of the night and that night she fell out of bed and broke her right arm.

"I rang the critical care unit the next morning and was told that she had been moved to a general ward.

"There was no dignity, her dignity flew out of the window the moment she went on to that ward.

"My mother was not washed properly, the bed sheets were filthy and the toilet was so dirty that I cleaned it myself.

"She was left for long periods of time in her room without any member of staff checking on her and her water jug was often left empty. Her soiled night clothes were bundled into a plastic bag and left inside her locker.

"The emergency buzzer was out of reach and on one occasion when she used it no one came.

"She started choking on her medication. I was trying to help her and pressed the buzzer but no one came. I had to run across to the door to shout for help before anyone came.

julie bailey

Cure the NHS campaigner Julie Bailey with others who have lost relatives as she arrives to give evidence to the Public inquiry

"The care was just... well there was no care. It was just unbelievable.

"We just feel as though that hospital was a hell hole.

"She was re-admitted to the critical care ward because she had become dehydrated. How does anyone become dehydrated in a hospital?

When she was back on the ward a doctor confirmed that she was suffering from pancreatitis. She mother died on January 31, 2009, aged 69 of a combination of hospital bug Clostridium difficile, pancreatitis, ischemic heart disease and the laparotomy.

"She was a lively, sprightly, individual lady with a lot of friends and two older sisters. She should still be with us now, she was only 69.

"There was a huge shortage of nurses, there was no continuity of care. No one really understood my mother's condition."

"It is a shambles. The whole system must have fallen apart.

"The nurses did not seem to care very much - some of them did but they were just stressed out because of the lack of support.

"We need to have much better training for the nurses - maybe more hospital based training instead of at college or university.

"The whole culture needs to change. People in hospital are at their most vulnerable and they need to be treated with care and compassion."

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