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Friday, 31 October 2014

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Family tell of devastation over mam’s hospital death

THE grieving children of a Whitehaven woman whose death prompted an investigation into her hospital care say the medics she put her faith in failed their mum.

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The family of Dorothy Ross said they were devastated to lose their “fit, active and independent” mother.

They added there “seemed to be no consequences” for hospital staff behind errors at West Cumberland Hospital, where the retired dinner lady died.

Bosses at the trust running the hospital have issued a statement saying they had “taken appropriate steps to prevent any such incidents happening again in the future”.

Now, daughter Gillian Mudie, of Frizington, and son Ian Ross, of Seaton, said: “When mam went into hospital we assumed she was in a safe place.

“Our faith and confidence in the health service has been shattered by what we now know.”

A coroner ruled that Mrs Ross, 75, of Cleator Moor Road, could have lived if the right treatment had been given. An inquest heard she might have survived if a blood sample had been taken when it was supposed to be, with medics likely to have spotted the effects of a drug she had been given to stop blood clotting.

Coroner David Roberts said she died “of the consequences of” a blow to the head in a fall at home – but added that a bleed on the brain was “exacerbated” by the treatment adopted before surgery. A report after her death highlighted numerous failings by the hospital.

In their statement, Mr Ross, 46, and Ms Mudie, 42, said: “There were a number of opportunities to save her but all were missed.

“Our mam was a staunch supporter of the West Cumberland Hospital but the people she put her faith in failed her.

“We don’t want to see the hospital closed but our community should be able to rely on a safe health service.”

The inquest at Cockermouth was told that Mrs Ross was admitted to hospital after slipping on a plastic bag at home on April 17 last year.

Dr Jeremy Rushmer, medical director at the North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust, which runs West Cumberland Hospital, said: “We have carried out our own immediate investigation. While this does not change the very sad outcome for Mrs Ross and her family, we hope it provides the necessary assurance that we have taken this case extremely seriously and taken appropriate steps to prevent any such incidents happening again.”

The family thanked their legal team and Mr Roberts.

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