OAP in hospital ‘ordeal’ probe

Brian Dickinson
Brian Dickinson

AN INVESTIGATION has been launched after a furious Wigan family complained a pensioner suffered degrading treatment at a hospital.

Brian Dickinson, 72, is alleged to have been incorrectly told he had the superbug MRSA and left wearing soiled clothing by staff during treatment at Wigan Infirmary last month.

The complaints, which also concern nurses allegedly not knowing which medication Mr Dickinson was taking, refer to his stay on Langtree ward between October 1 and 10 after he was taken ill at home.

The Marus Bridge dad, who is confined to a wheelchair after suffering from MRSA in 2005 and has suffered a series of strokes, was left in tears by the incorrect diagnosis of an MRSA relapse. This was then over-ruled by tests run by the hospital’s microbiologist showing he was still clear of the disease.

Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh (WWL) NHS Foundation Trust has now launched an inquiry into Mr Dickinson’s care after relatives submitted a detailed diary of the alleged mistakes and shortcomings to the hospital’s medical director and demanded action to improve the dignity and care of patients.

Mr Dickinson’s daughter, who asked not to be named, said: “My dad has been left quite bitter about the whole experience and he does not want to go back into Wigan Infirmary again. It isn’t acceptable that important medication for patients with complex medical needs is overlooked, as this comes under the hospital’s safeguarding policy.

“He was left in heavily soiled clothes and said he was embarrassed about it, which just isn’t acceptable. My mum was extremely upset by the incident as well, and the state of his shorts was disgusting. An animal should not be left in that situation.

“They were preparing to move him to a side room because they told him he had MRSA, and if the mistake hadn’t been spotted he would have been started on a course of medication he didn’t need. He is extremely reluctant to go back to hospital and that could be quite dangerous, as he is not a well man and with his symptoms further treatment in the future is almost inevitable.”

It is not the first time Mr Dickinson has been the subject of a complaint made to hospital chiefs about care, with him and his family holding a meeting with the medical director in January to discuss unsatisfactory care on a previous hospitalisation.

His daughter says she is particularly angry that the improvements plan put in place after this meeting have not been adhered to.

She said: “The hospital drew up six points which were supposed to be improved, and they are still falling down on privacy, dignity and medication issues.”

A WWL spokesman said: “We are unable to comment publicly about individual patients as we are bound by patient confidentiality. However, we can confirm that we are aware of this complaint and are currently investigating all the allegations made by the family.

“WWL listens to all comments and concerns expressed by patients or their relatives and aim to respond sympathetically and constructively. We have a robust complaints procedure and welcome comments about the service we offer to patients so we can continue to further improve the care we provide. All complaints are investigated thoroughly.”