A patient desperate for a drink of water had to telephone the switchboard of the hospital he was being treated in to beg to see a doctor.Just lovely...
Derek Sauter, 60, used his mobile phone to request medical attention after his pleas for help were ignored.
But when the doctor arrived he was turned away by ward nurse Caroline Lowe, who said Mr Sauter was 'over-reacting' and threatened to confiscate his phone.
Eight hours later the grandfather-of-three, who was suffering with a chest infection, was dead.Having had recent experience of what passes for 'care' for the elderly in NHS hospitals, I can't say I'm too surprised at this.
Rather than offering sympathy to Susan, Mr Sauter's wife of 41 years, Miss Lowe later told her that he could have been prosecuted for harassing the doctor on call.
Some time between 9.30pm and 11.30pm Mr Sauter was moved to a side room where there was no monitoring equipment and, although he was supposed to be checked every four hours, no observations on his condition were made.Not surprising. What is surprising is that the hospital couldn't quite manage to close ranks and fudge the report this time:
An investigation by the hospital revealed Mr Sauter's oxygen levels, which should have been routinely monitored, were not checked for 11 hours and had dropped 35 per cent below the recommended level.Why is she not being investigated by the police?
The report concluded that were it not for the failings of Miss Lowe Mr Sauter would have survived.
She has since been sacked by the hospital, but has not been suspended by the Nursing and Midwifery Council, who are investigating.
Needless to say, this one has studied the way social workers deal with this sort of work-related setback:
Miss Lowe, who lives in Essex, said: 'I am so sorry about what has gone on, but there are key facts the family haven't picked up on.Yes, dearie, that's right. You're the real victim here. How could anyone think otherwise?
'He didn't press the buzzer. We got him water, but then he spilled it, so we got him another glass. We got him a jug and everything.
'I have been through such trauma with this. I am still traumatised by it.'