‘I’d be first in line to inspect hospital’

June Pothecary of  Lytham St Annes
June Pothecary of Lytham St Annes
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THE families of former patients at Blackpool Victoria Hospital have today backed calls for patient-led inspections.

It comes after the Prime Minister’s visit to the hospital to launch a nationwide initiative to drive up nursing standards.

During his trip David Cameron said he wanted to see new patient-led inspections assessing cleanliness, dignity and nutrition.

And relatives of former patients today backed the idea.

Sue Formby, who found her 80-year-old father lying in a urine soaked bed during his time on The Vic’s stroke ward, said the move would be a positive step.

She added: “Cleanliness, dignity and nutrition are three basic requirements but so important.

“A lot of patients are elderly and have paid taxes and national insurance their whole lives. Why should they be ignored?”

June Pothecary’s 52-year-old son Kevin died in the hospital in March after being admitted with severe stomach pain and diarrhoea, later diagnosed as a rare from of cancer.

Since then she has been battling with the NHS to get answers and says the family believe his poor treatment in the hospital’s hermatology department, which the hospital has since apologised for, helped cause his death, something which bosses deny.

She said: “I am glad someone is standing up and taking notice. We’re still waiting for the outcome of our investigation but it could prevent it happening to someone else.

“If I had the chance I would be first in line to inspect the hospital.”

Mr Cameron said he wanted to reduce the burden of paperwork and free up nurses so they could carry out hourly rounds and spend more time with patients.

Mrs Pothecary added: “Patients have to be checked every hour, this is the point we brought up when we had meetings with the trust.

“Kevin was seen to every four hours, we said all along it should be every half an hour. We regularly found him in soiled clothing.”

In November, a report found The Vic had some of the highest death rates in the country.

Then in December, The Gazette reported on Lucia Frankitt’s fight for justice when hospital bosses admitted mistakes had been made after the death of her husband Kevin.

Nursing unions have hit out at the Government for cutting staffing budgets yet demanding better care.