A HEARTBROKEN widow has hit out at a hospital trust for its delayed response to her complaint following her husband’s tragic death.
And when Doreen Hall did receive a reply from the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust – four weeks late – she says it still leaves many of her questions unanswered.
Doreen turns 60 today, but the last thing on her mind is celebrating the occasion as the continues her quest to demand answers from an investigation into the circumstances surrounding her husband, Charlie Hall’s death.
Charlie suffered a heart attack in the University Hospital of Hartlepool’s car park, but was then driven more than 14 miles by ambulance to be treated at the University Hospital of North Tees, in Stockton. After five days fighting for his life in a coma the grandad-of-four passed away, aged 67.
Charlie had been for a routine CT scan when he took ill and Doreen was told after his death that he was suffering with heart disease and pneumonia.
The devastated mum-of-three from a previous relationship lodged a formal complaint with North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust and was told she would receive a response within five weeks. Yesterday she finally received a letter from the trust, nine weeks after she lodged the complaint.
In the letter, Doreen said trust bosses say they can’t be sure why Mr Hall reacted badly to the CT scan. But she says, had the doctors been aware her husband was suffering with pneumonia, medics might have stopped him from going for the scan or had more nurses on hand.
Doreen has also been invited to a meeting with doctors and trust bosses on a date yet to be set.
“The letter still leaves many unanswered questions,” said Doreen, who lives in Kirkland Hill, Peterlee.
“I want to know why the pneumonia or heart disease wasn’t spotted before he went for the CT scan.”
Doreen knew Charlie was suffering with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, but says her husband was never diagnosed with pneumonia or heart disease while he was alive despite having an x-ray, an MRI scan, a chest x-ray, a full body bone scan and getting bloods taken in the weeks leading up to his death.
David Emerton, medical director for North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are very sorry Mrs Hall feels let down and we apologise for the delay in responding to her concerns.
“We would like to assure Mrs Hall that a full investigation has taken place.
“We’ve got every sympathy with the family and appreciate that this has been a very difficult time for them. We welcome Mrs Hall to contact us if she would like to talk about this further.”