POLITICS
16/07/2013 14:01 BST | Updated 15/09/2013 06:12 BST

Patient's Legs Described As 'Raw Bits Of Meat' At Under-Fire Basildon Hospital

PA
Care at Basildon Hospital has been strongly criticised by one patient's relatives

The daughter of an 82-year-old woman who died in Basildon Hospital said she can not erase from her mind the image of "raw bits of meat" hanging from her mother's legs.

Joan Betts, from Essex, died after contracting septicaemia due to her ulcerated legs not being treated properly, according to her daughter Tina Tyler who believes her mother was "put to death".

Mrs Betts was admitted to the hospital on 26 November 2012 and died a couple of weeks later on 15 December.

Mrs Tyler, 50, who lives in Hertfordshire, said of her mother's legs before her death: "They were in such a state you wouldn't have put a dog in that situation. You'd have put the dog down.

"They looked like raw bits of meat hanging off the end of my mum's legs."

She added: "All I've got is this really horrible vision of my mum and her legs. I've not got a nice picture of her.

"I don't have, in my head, a nice picture of my mum at the moment, because the last picture I saw of my mum was in Basildon with her bad legs because of what they done.

"It wasn't a natural death for her. It was pushed upon her, and they're not going to get away with it."

Mrs Tyler said on "many occasions" when she and her sister and brothers visited their mother in the hospital she was "never upright", despite directions to hospital staff that in order to help her to breathe she must be upright.

Mrs Tyler said staff were not interested when they complained.

She recalled another occasion when Mrs Betts was on the toilet but the call bell to ring for help was on the floor and not plugged in.

"She couldn't shout loud enough because of her stroke. And when my sister got there my mum was so stressed out she could hardly breathe," she said.

Mrs Tyler said she can not put her mother to rest until she gets answers.

"My mum should have still been here today. I'm not saying she was in perfect health. She wasn't, we knew that.

"But she was not ready to die yet. To me, they've took my mum away. And I'm not letting them get away with it," she said.

Mrs Tyler said she believes "90% of the nurses" in Basildon hospital "need to go back to proper training school".

She said: "How many more people are they going to kill innocently?"

Ms Tyler also criticised the role of the GP and district nurses in caring for her mother. She said that at one point 31 district nurses were looking at her mother's legs before she was admitted to hospital, and said there was no continuity in care.

She said the NHS does "not want to know the elderly".

Adding: "The population's getting older now, people are living longer, so therefore you've got to find the right people to have that care. It ain't in that hospital."

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Emma Jones, the lawyer who represented 120 victims at Stafford Hospital and who is currently investigating 84 potential claims of abuse across 9 of the 14 trusts including Mrs Tyler's, said: "Jeremy Hunt's statement that 11 trusts are to be placed into special measures, with immediate or urgent action necessary at all 14 trusts reviewed by Sir Bruce Keogh in order to protect patients, confirms that the appalling treatment identified at Stafford Hospital was not an isolated aberration but rather can be seen in hospitals throughout the UK.

"We welcome the announcement that all 14 trusts have not been given a clean bill of health and that they will be reviewed in the next 12 months by the new Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards.

"However, what has not been made clear is what will happen if the necessary improvements have not been made.

"The Secretary of State's statement is long on rhetoric and political point scoring but short on action. The Secretary of State needs to implement the recommendations of Robert Francis's report without further delay.

"Anything less would be an insult to both our clients and the thousands of other patients who appear to have died needlessly as a consequence of a lack of the most basic standard of treatment and care."