Family question late father's hospital treatment

Christine Robinson with a photo of her father in happier times.

Mr Collins's arm after his blood transfusion.

First published in Waltham Forest East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Photograph of the Author by , Senior reporter

A FAMILY has demanded “justice” over the treatment of a grandfather who died in hospital.


Richard Dennis Collins was 81 when he passed away at Whipps Cross Hospital in Leytonstone last May in the wake of a routine operation to install a leg pin after he fractured his hip in a fall.


The family say that a day after the procedure staff wrongly inserted a blood transfusion into his arm, which meant it missed his vein and caused blood to flow directly into his body instead for two hours.


Mr Collins, a father-of-six with 14 grandchildren, caught an infection days later and died in the hospital several weeks later.


An inquest ruled he died of natural causes but his family believe the hospital has serious question to answer over his treatment.
 

A spokeswoman for Barts Health NHS Trust said there was no evidence that his death had anything to do with the disputed blood transfusion, a position supported by the coroner.


But his daughter Christine Robinson, 47, said her family were deeply upset by the way he had been treated and wanted staff to be disciplined.


Ms Robinson, who herself used to work at Whipps Cross as a health care assistant, said: “The care there was disgraceful.


“A patient is supposed to be checked every ten minutes in these types of blood transfusions but my father was left alone for two hours.


“He was in reasonably good health and was doing a crossword and chatting to us after the operation.


“But the next day after the transfusion he wasn't the same. He was completely confused, it affected him both psychologically and physiologically.”


Ms Robinson, of Manor Park, said the family were considering legal action and wanted “justice”.


A letter to the family from Barts Health, seen by the Guardian, acknowledged that “lessons had been learnt” from what happened to Mr Collins.

A spokeswoman for the trust told the Guardian: "Our thoughts are with the Collins family at this difficult time.

"An inquest held in February 2012 found that Mr Collins died from natural causes.  

"A high standard of care was provided and Mr Collins sadly suffered a recognised complication of transfusion which was entirely unrelated to his death.

"Our internal investigation, held in response to a formal complaint received from the Collins family after this inquest, supported the coroner’s findings  and found no grounds for disciplinary action against staff."

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