Addenbrooke's receive complaint over patient's final days
- 6 March 2013
- From the section England
A nurse has complained that her father was left without food, drink or oxygen support for the last eight days of his life at a Cambridge hospital.
Bob Goold, 69, of Stevenage, Hertfordshire, was in intensive care at Addenbrooke's Hospital when he was put on the Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP).
Susan Phillips said his final days were horrendous. He died on 25 February.
Addenbrooke's said it was "dedicated to compassionate end of life care" and would carry out a formal investigation.
It insists LCP, an end of life programme approved by the Department of Health, is operated in the best interest of patients.
'Really, really scared'
Mr Goold, who had Alzheimer's, had suffered a fractured neck, back and bleeding on the brain after falling down some stairs.
The father of three had also developed pneumonia and clots in his lungs.
His family said they had not been told he had been placed on the LCP and believe he might have survived if treatment had continued.
Although Mr Goold was given a poor long-term prognosis, his neurological condition in hospital had stabilised before he was weaned off his sedation, Mrs Phillips said.
The day before he was put on LCP, he was removed from the ventilator in the hope he might be able to breathe on his own.
But Mrs Phillips said that the family were met with an "absolutely horrendous" sight two hours later.
"Everything had been stripped from my dad - even his neck brace for his broken neck, and he was flailing his arms everywhere.
"He was looking really, really scared making awful noises and I asked the nurse where his oxygen was and she said 'oh he's on the LCP'," she said.
Mr Goold did not die for another eight days.
An inquest is due to be held into his death, after which, the hospital said, it would carry out an investigation.
Addenbrooke's has revealed 1,000 patients have died on LCP since June 2010.
This year, the hospital has been offered a Commissioning for Quality and Innovation (CQUIN) incentive payment of £1m to train more nurses about LCP and end of life care.
Care minister Norman Lamb has ordered a national independent review into the way LCP is operating in hospitals, after a number of complaints.