Shropshire

West Mercia Police probe woman's Telford hospital death

Carol Rowley Image copyright Alan Rowley
Image caption Carol Rowley died 45 minutes after being given diamorphine

The death of a woman in hospital is being investigated by police after her family made complaints about her care.

Carol Rowley, 56, died at Princess Royal Hospital, Telford, on 14 February, 2013 after a battle with cancer.

Her family says that what happened on the day she died differs from what was recorded in her medical notes.

The hospital said it was co-operating with West Mercia Police's investigation and no wrongdoing had been found.

"It would appear from certain records that certain treatments have been given which just did not occur," her husband Alan said.

"The picture of what we saw on the night, in the evening and the morning varies quite dramatically from what we read in records."

Mrs Rowley, who had incurable cancer, was taken to hospital by ambulance after becoming dehydrated following chemotherapy on 13 February.

Image copyright Rowley family
Image caption Mr Rowley said he was determined to find out why his wife died

Hospital notes state she was given fluids for dehydration at 19:00 - but this was before she had arrived at hospital, her family said.

She later collapsed after being given morphine and was sent to be resuscitated. Her husband says she was given an injection, but there is no record of this.

"A member of staff present lifted her gown and gave her what I fully believe was an injection just under my wife's breast," said Mr Rowley.

"Within seconds my wife was breathing."

Image caption Alan Rowley says he has been pushing for answers for four years

The family claims she received little attention from 03:00 and was not given diamorphine at 05:54, as stated in her notes.

She died 45 minutes after having a dose of diamorphine at 08:00.

Her family says it was told she had had a reaction to the morphine, but there is no evidence of this in her notes and it has since been denied by the hospital.

Staff and family members have been interviewed by police, who told the BBC their investigation was ongoing.

Julia Clarke, director of corporate governance at the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH), said: "We have been fully co-operating with police since their enquiries began in 2013.

"To date there have been no findings of any wrongdoing. In light of the ongoing police enquiries it would be inappropriate for us to comment further."