Milton Keynes Hospital 'gives woman, 82, wrong food and no fluids'

Joan Parker, 82, had a scan four days after a head injury

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An 82-year-old woman was left without a scan for a head injury and given the wrong food after being taken to hospital, her family have claimed.

Joan Parker, from Two Mile Ash, was admitted to Milton Keynes Hospital on 23 February after collapsing at home.

Relatives said they had to feed her, she had to wait three hours for a drink and it took days for her to be scanned.

The Buckinghamshire hospital admitted mistakes were made but said "clinically she was given the right treatment".

Chief executive Joe Harrison said: "I am very sorry to the family for the fact that we did at times let down this patient.

"I have personally met with them to ensure we listened to them and improved our care."

Blood on brain

Mrs Parker's daughter-in-law, former paramedic Pam Parker, said when the pensioner arrived at hospital, she told staff her mother-in-law needed fluids but it took three hours for them to be given.

She also said Mrs Parker did not have an immediate scan, despite it being "apparent she had a head injury".

"It took us at least a couple of days to actually get a scan and when they discovered there was blood on the brain, they did nothing," she said.

Two weeks later, after a second scan, Mrs Parker was sent to Oxford's John Radcliffe Hospital for an operation to remove bleeding on the brain.

Mr Harrison said staff had liaised with experts at the John Radcliffe and decided it was "not clinically appropriate" to scan Mrs Parker when she was admitted and also agreed "no intervention" was needed after the first scan, four days later.

"When the second scan was taken, we agreed [with the John Radcliffe] clinical intervention was required," he said.

"In relation to the treatment of the patient's head injury we did everything we should have done."

'Absolutely wrong'

Mrs Parker's family also said she could not eat solids since having throat cancer but was given sandwiches and her feeding was not supervised.

Food given to Joan Parker in Milton Keynes Hospital Joan Parker cannot eat solids since having throat cancer but was given sandwiches by staff

Mr Harrison admitted the hospital had "got that absolutely wrong" but claimed it had since made "significant improvements".

"We did not have the right systems in place to support every patient. We have that now," he said.

A Care Quality Commission report, published in December, found improvements were required at the hospital in five categories including standards of providing care, treatment and support that meets people's needs.

Mr Harrison said it "would not fail all five categories now".

"I am proud of the improvements we have made over the last three months," he said.

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