Oxford

Mother blames hospice for 'killing' daughter

Emily Bushaway
Image caption Emily Bushaway was unable to breathe properly after part of her ventilator was discarded

The mother of a 21-year-old woman with a rare disease has said she believes incompetence at a hospice "killed" her daughter.

On Wednesday an inquest heard Emily Bushaway died when staff at Helen & Douglas House in Oxford failed to replace part of her breathing tube.

Her mother, Lisa Bushaway, said a nurse threw part of a valve "in the bin and then connected it back up".

Coroner Darren Salter said the valve was unfamiliar to staff at the hospice.

In his narrative verdict, Mr Salter said serious risks were not adequately highlighted in Emily's care plan, so her accidental death was contributed to by neglect.

Helen & Douglas House said it had taken action to prevent a repeat incident, but Ms Bushaway blames the hospice for her daughter's death.

"She fought all those years, beat all the odds...for someone to come along, so incompetent, I feel like they killed her."

Image caption Mark Greener and Lisa Bushaway say staff did not understand their daughter's medical set up

Emily, who was from Letchworth, had the neuro-degenerative condition Niemann-Pick disease type C, and was having respite care when she died in May 2016.

Her mother said she died from being starved of oxygen when part of a valve was discarded.

"[The nurse] hadn't realised what she'd done. They connected her back up...but it was too late, Emily was already beginning to go."

Mark Greener, her father, said the nurse did not know what a whisper valve was when he told her it was missing.

Helen & Douglas House said: "It would be inappropriate to comment on individuals involved. We will be taking appropriate internal action."

It added: "We have taken action to ensure that this type of incident won't happen again and we will continue to review our clinical practice with patients' safety at the heart of our decisions."

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