FURIOUS MPs have slammed the “shocking” hospital treatment of a 77-year-old woman whose death came after nurses failed to give her medication for 36 hours.
Health bosses said they were launching a 'detailed investigation' following an inquest into the death of Hughenden Valley resident Margaret Brown at Stoke Mandeville Hospital.
The inquest heard on Friday drugs to treat Mrs Brown were unavailable after staff at the hospital's pharmacy could not be contacted (see link to previous story, below).
Nurses' attempts to obtain the drugs was described as “haphazard” by coroner Richard Hulett, who recorded a verdict of misadventure.
Buckinghamshire Hospitals NHS Trust this week apologised to Mrs Brown's family and offered its “sincere condolences”.
But Aylesbury MP David Lidington said: “This is a shocking verdict from the coroner and it's not acceptable for this kind of mistake to be made when people's lives are at stake.
“I would expect the Hospital Trust to take seriously what the coroner says and to introduce changes immediately to ensure that nothing like this happens again.
“I would assume there would be an internal inquiry already. If there has not been one then, given the coroner's verdict, there clearly needs to be one.”
Wycombe MP Steve Baker added: “This tragic story is bound to raise strong feelings of anger and dismay. I would like to hear from management and, in particular, nursing staff what changes will be made in response to the coroner’s remarks.
“I am astonished that attempts to obtain vital medication within a British hospital could be described as haphazard and lacking urgency. How did this come to pass and what is to change?
“My heart goes out to Mrs Brown’s family at this most difficult time.”
Mrs Brown, described as a “frail” 77-year-old widow who had a history of heart problems, had to take various medication to keep her heart rate regular and ensure she did not retain too much fluid.
But none of these were ever administered to her while she was at Stoke Mandeville, the inquest at the hospital was told.
Zosia Katnik, spokesman for the Hospital Trust, said: “Buckinghamshire Hospitals NHS Trust would like to extend our sincere condolences and apologies to the family of Mrs Brown.
“The incident involving Mrs Brown was immediately reported at the time and is being followed by a detailed investigation after Friday’s inquest. This includes a thorough review of all our processes relating to the dispensing of medication.
“We do have an on-call pharmacist who is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for emergency or urgent situations.
“Patient safety is our number one priority and we will do everything possible to learn from this incident. Once again we apologise to the family of Mrs Brown.”