C. diff inquiry - daughter slams 'deplorable' treatment

Image caption,
The inquiry is being held at Antrim Civic Centre

The daughter of a man who died after suffering from C. difficile during an outbreak of the bug two years ago has branded his treatment "deplorable".

Denise Marshall told an inquiry into the outbreak that while her father was being treated at Antrim hospital, she had to empty his bedpan and wash him.

She said the 73-year-old was told he had C. diff but was not subsequently given proper advice.

The inquiry is examining the outbreak, which occurred in the Northern Trust.

'Matter of fact'

It is understood that up to 31 deaths are linked to the outbreak.

Ms Marshall, daughter of Samuel Brown who was being treated in the hospital, said there was a "shortage of disposable gloves and aprons" during her father's stay at the hospital.

A doctor had removed his gloves while treating her father and on another occasion, a nurse had sat on his bed, she said.

She added that the communication about her father's condition had been "matter of fact".

"I had to go to speak to a ward sister and she told me that he must have brought the infection into the hospital himself and that the antibiotics were to blame," she said.

Ms Marshall also described to the inquiry what happened on the day her father died.

She said that her mother, uncle and her uncle's wife were visiting her father when they found him slumped on his bed.

She explained that her uncle had gone to the nurses' station where "three or four nurses were standing about talking".


"He approached the desk and said to them that he needed someone to come down to the room immediately at which stage they just looked up at him.

"Nobody answered on the first attempt and so he said it again and one of the nurses said she would be with him shortly."

She said it had then taken another "two or three minutes" before a nurse entered the room.

"She approached my father and then asked my mother if she wanted him resuscitated as he had passed away."

Ms Marshall said her family were "appalled and still distraught" by what happened.

"We found our experience absolutely horrendous," she added.

The inquiry is due to hear from a number of people whose relatives were treated in Northern Trust hospitals at the time of the outbreak as well as medical professionals.

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