Wigan woman's search for answers after father's death in hospital

A grieving woman with serious concerns about the circumstances surrounding her father’s death has sought legal advice as she tries to get answers.

Friday, 6th November 2020, 7:00 am

Louise Hodson, from Worsley Hall, is desperate to uncover what happened to her 72-year-old dad Harry Ormisher at Royal Preston Hospital.

She says he was admitted on March 19 after his doctor phoned to say his leg needed to be amputated due to gangrene, which had returned after a toe was removed in February.

But the announcement of the coronavirus lockdown just a few days later meant no-one in the family was allowed to visit great-grandfather Mr Ormisher in hospital and they struggled to find out what was happening to him.

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Louise Hodson, holding a photograph of her father Harry Ormisher, with her husband Craig Hodson

Mrs Hodson, 39, said: “For four weeks they wouldn’t tell us anything over the phone.”

After many requests, the family did manage to speak to Mr Ormisher twice by phone, but were concerned by what he told them.

“He was pleading with us to say he needed food and drink,” Mrs Hodson said.

She also claims he was not given enough insulin to match his usual dose.

Mr Ormisher, who moved from Hindley to Fleetwood two years ago after retiring as a demolition worker, was diagnosed with coronavirus on April 6.

He was treated on a Covid-19 ward and on the morning of April 20, Mrs Hodson was told he had a good night and was waiting to see a doctor.

But at 5.34pm that day, her mother Rita received a phone call telling her to go to the hospital urgently.

When she arrived just after 6pm, she was told her husband had died at 5.40pm.

Mrs Hodson said: “He has left five kids and his wife. They were married for 54 years and they never even got to say goodbye.”

His family went to see his body but had concerns that he had been dead for longer than they were told. Mrs Hodson claims the bereavement team told her paperwork regarding his death was submitted at 2.06pm that day.

Mrs Hodson said: “I knew with the state of his body that he had been dead a lot longer than they were telling us.”

She requested her father’s medical records the following day to find out about his treatment, but has concerns about what she has read.

She says his name was wrongly recorded as “Barry” in the notes and she claims one of the X-rays looked like it was taken while he was in a body bag.

When she questioned this, it was removed from the records, she says.

Mrs Hodson says “do not resuscitate” orders were placed on her dad in March and April, purporting to be approved by her and her mother, but they had not known anything about them.

She claims the hospital told her family that Mr Ormisher died from coronavirus, but the death certificate instead recorded other health issues, including a heart problem.

She fears his treatment in hospital may have led to his death, claiming they did not provide sufficient food, drink and medication.

She has now sought advice from a solicitor as she tries to find out exactly what happened to her dad.

Mrs Hodson said: “Nothing is tallying up and nothing is making sense. I want to push to get some answers.”

Mrs Hodson claims hospital bosses are refusing to meet her family to discuss what happened and PALS cannot help as they are taking the legal route.

She wants an inquest to be carried out and is even considering speaking to the police to ask them to investigate.

Mrs Hodson said: “I want an inquest or something. I want answers. At the end of the day, he was my dad for 40 years. I want the answers and I will fight for him until I get what I want.”

Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Royal Preston Hospital, confirmed it had received a complaint from Mr Ormisher’s family and offered to meet in a video call.

A spokesman for the trust said: “Our thoughts and deepest condolences are with the family of Mr Ormisher at this time.

“The trust received a formal complaint and responded to the family.

“Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the trust has unfortunately been unable to meet with families in person for a number of months, to help protect its patients and staff members by preventing the spread of Covid-19.

“The trust are more than happy to meet with Mr Ormisher’s family via video call to discuss any outstanding concerns and to assist in any way we can.

“We would ask that they please contact the PALS team who will be happy to arrange this for them, the details of which can be found on the complaint response

letter.”

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