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Hospital refutes man's claims

PUBLISHED: 11:53 05 March 2002 | UPDATED: 11:29 03 March 2010

IPSWICH Hospital has strongly refuted the claims of a man whose mother died following an incorrect diagnosis.

Albert Fisher said he believes the hospital should have provided more information about the cause of his mother Florence's death.

IPSWICH Hospital has strongly refuted the claims of a man whose mother died following an incorrect diagnosis.

Albert Fisher said he believes the hospital should have provided more information about the cause of his mother Florence's death.

Mrs Fisher, 82, of Selkirk Road, Ipswich, had an operation on September 13 to unblock arteries in her leg. The operation was a success but she suffered from internal bleeding that night.

The next day a further operation was performed to stop the bleeding but she died later that night.

For five months after her death her son Albert has been trying to find out why the bleeding went unnoticed by staff at the hospital.

Many of his questions were answered at an inquest in Ipswich recently but he is still angry about what he claims to be a lack of information the hospital provided.

He said: "I returned from holiday to be told that my mother had died three hours earlier. I said 'This can't be, how could I lose her so quickly'.

"The very next day I went through everything that had happened because I thought there's something not right here."

Mr Fisher explained that although he knew there is always a risk with surgery he understood the procedure his mother underwent was relatively straight forward.

However when Mr Fisher attempted to find out more information from the hospital, he got nowhere.

He continued: "Two days after she died I phoned for a cause of death certificate it was only then, by accident, I found out they were going to have a post mortem."

Despite writing letters to the hospital Mr Fisher said he did not get any answers from the hospital as to why his mother died.

In November he was invited to meet a consultant at Ipswich Hospital but by this stage he decided he would wait to hear the findings of an inquest.

A spokeswoman for Ipswich Hospital said they had done all they could to communicate with Mr Fisher.

She said: "We are concerned to learn of Mr Fisher's comments and feelings especially as we appreciate the distress that Mr Fisher understandably had about the death of his mother.

"The senior consultant and clinical team invited Mr Fisher to come into the hospital so that they could have a personal face to face discussion and answer any questions or issues that Mr Fisher wanted to be addressed, in person. Sadly Mr Fisher declined.

"Many people find that it is actually more comforting and easier to have a face to face discussion especially if we are dealing with what can be complicated medical terminology. Written words can only go so far in actually giving explanations."

She continued: "We strongly refute that there was a breakdown in communication from the trust's perspective, Mr Fisher himself chose not to take up the opportunity we offered him."

At the inquest in February the court heard that Mrs Fisher would have survived if a second operation had been performed 12 hours earlier.

Alan Cameron, consultant surgeon at Ipswich Hospital, told the court Mrs Fisher suffered a rare condition following her operation, which doctors-in-training failed to recognise.

Ipswich coroner Peter Dean recorded a "narrative" verdict to describe the cause of the pensioner's death.

He said: "Death was from complications occurring in consequence of a necessary investigative medical procedure, the exact nature of these complications being initially unrecognised."


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