My husband was listed as dead by the hospital. Then discharged alive. And THEN he died... how could this happen?

November 13, 2017 7:12 AM

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Graham Edwards' wife has slammed Tameside General Hospital for the 'huge discrepancies' in his records

A woman whose husband was listed as ‘deceased’ on a hospital document two days before he died has slammed the ‘huge discrepancies’ in his medical records.

Graham Edwards, from Droylsden, passed away aged 62 on October 25 last year just hours after he was discharged from Tameside General Hospital, an inquest into his death was told.

He had been diagnosed with lung cancer in April 2016, which eventually spread to his brain and was terminal.

Mrs Edwards has criticised the care her husband received at the hospital, saying one doctor even refused to treat him, and the errors in his records.

Hospital documents seen by the M.E.N list Mr Edwards’ date of birth as July 11 2007, when he was born on February 12 1954, and a patient results report dated October 23 states ‘this patient has now deceased’ when Mr Edwards did not actually die until October 25.

Mrs Edwards said there had been a lack of communication from both her husband’s GP and hospital staff – which included them being told his cancer was terminal in a letter.

“No one had spoken to us about it, even though we’d been to an appointment just a few days before the letter arrived,” she said.

At one point Mr Edwards’ GP gave them two sealed envelopes, telling them to pass them on in the event that he needed and medical intervention. They were not told what was inside.

When Mr Edwards was taken to A&E at Tameside coughing up blood two days before his death, Mrs Edwards gave the envelopes to the doctor.

Giving evidence at the inquest, she said that after reading the contents the doctor said he would not treat Mr Edwards.

“I kicked off a bit and a senior consultant came to see us, and she agreed that they could treat him,” she added.

The Coroner, Andrew Bridgman, said it ‘beggared belief’ that no one had explained to Mr and Mrs Edwards what was in the envelopes.

He said: “If the doctor on arrival at A&E said words to the effect that he would not treat Mr Edwards that would have been very shocking and distressing for the family, and if it was said like that very unprofessional.

“What those envelopes actually contained was supposed to assist the family, and it beggars belief that Mr and Mrs Edwards did not know that.

“The reaction of the first doctor seems to have been erroneous, but Mrs Edwards stood her ground and appropriate treatment was administered.”

He said the family’s concerns had ‘by and large been caused by poor communication and the manner in which Mr and Mrs Edwards were met on arrival at the hospital on October 23’, but noted that these issues ‘played no part in the eventual outcome’ and recorded a conclusion of death by natural causes.

A spokesman for Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Tameside General Hospital, said: “We apologise to Mrs Edwards and her family for what has clearly been a lack of communication on our behalf.

“Communication and compassion are two of our core values and we regret that we haven’t lived up to the high standards we set ourselves in this regard.

“We continue to work directly with Mrs Edwards to resolve her concerns.”


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