Family tell of ‘repeated health service failings’ in dad’s care

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A RELATIVE of a former MP died after being admitted and discharged from hospital five times in a single month, a Wigan inquest heard.

Tommy Kevan, the 91-year-old father-in-law of former shadow health minister Sir Ian McCartney, suffered complications after a series of falls at the Alexandra Court Intermediate Care centre in Pemberton.

Coroner Jennifer Leeming was told that the former docker and merchant seaman who lived with daughter Ann and her husband at their Stubshaw Cross home was a “big, strong, tall man who had worked full time until beyond his 74th birthday”.

Sir Ian, chairman of Wigan Health Watch, insisted his father-in-law, who died in April, was the victim of a series of “inappropriate premature discharges from the infirmary”.

He also accused the intermediate care centre in Howard Street of “failing in their duty of care” towards Mr Kevan.

At the Bolton hearing he said Alexandra Court tried to cover up that the pensioner had been left prostrate on his bedroom floor for four hours after a fall.

Sir Ian also claims there was poor communication between the hospital and the care centre over Mr Kevan’s medical requirements.

During one readmission to the infirmary after Mr Kevan was having difficulty in breathing with a suspected chest infection, less than 24 hours after being discharged for a serious flu-type infection, Sir Ian said that it was 11 and a half hours before Mr Kevan received medical treatment for pneumonia.

He said that for someone referred by his GP with suspected pneumonia that was a very long wait in an assessment ward bed whether you are 19 or 91.

Sir Ian said: “We believe some not all of the medical staff had given up on him just because he was 91 years old.

“It should not have been the case that he had a good innings and that was that, because believe me, he still had a good innings to play.

“He didn’t die of a lack of love or an incident of brutality; he died because there was just so little leadership given.

“There was a revolving door situated between WWL Trust and Alexandra Court and then at some point the door stopped and trapped him.

“A lot of time, a lot of effort and a lot of cost in terms of human resources had been taken on dad’s care but the outcome was so poor because no structure was in place to properly administer the journey he was on.”

Pathologist Dr David Barker said that a post-mortem examination had found that Mr Kevan had died from congestive cardiac failure brought about by aortic valve disease and colitis triggered by a C-Diff infection in his bowel.