Widow tells of ‘hospital hell’

Freda Hodgson whose husband died at Scarborough Hospital
Freda Hodgson whose husband died at Scarborough Hospital
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A GRIEVING widow has referred Scarborough Hospital’s healthcare trust to the Health Service Ombudsman after being treated “despicably”.

Leslie Hodgson, of Middlewood Close in Fylingthorpe, died on 15 January 2010, his wife Freda’s birthday, after having been moved off the Intensive Care Unit at Scarborough Hospital onto a general ward.

Mrs Hodgson was led to believe that this was because her husband was recovering, when in fact the hospital had decided that there was nothing else they could do for him.

Mrs Hodgson said: “He was put on Holly Ward to die, but nobody told me.

“Leslie said to me a few days before ‘I’m sorry I’ll miss your birthday’ and I thought he meant a card, I had no idea he was saying goodbye.

“By not telling me the truth that he was dying, they robbed me of precious time with him, and that I will never forgive.”

“It caused me 18 months of Hell, there’s a real lack of liaison and lack of consideration at the hospital towards the next of kin.”

After her husband’s death, Mrs Hodgson made an official complaint to Scarborough Hospital and met with members of the team in October 2011.

On 1 November she also received a

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let

ter from Mike Proctor, chief executive of the NHS trust, which led her to reply: “I really thought that I had encountered all the dispicable treatment that Scarborough Hospital could throw at me, and yet between you all, you can stoop even lower.”

The letter referred to the death of her “late father” and had grammatical and factual errors throughout.

For example in one sentence it read: “However, he still very poorly and I am sorry if this not stressed enough to you at the time.”

When asked about the errors, chief executive Mike Proctor said: “I can not stress how sorry we are for the distress caused to Mrs Hodgson.

“A genuine error was made and we have since put in place additional quality-checking processes to ensure any errors are picked up to avoid this happening again.

Mr Proctor apologised to Mrs Hodgson and has sent her another hand-written letter, but she has decided to pursue the case further as she does not “want anyone else to go through the same Hell I did”.

The case has been referred to the Health Service Ombudsman.