Dementia sufferer, 84, was left without food or water when operation was cancelled FIVE times in FIVE days

September 12, 2013 | by | 0 Comments

Hospital bosses have apologised to the family of an 84-year-old dementia sufferer after she was left with no food or water in hospital when her operation was cancelled FIVE times in FIVE days.

Grandmother Irene Lowe was put on a strict nil-by-mouth regime as she prepared to undergo surgery on her broken shoulder.

But after her surgery was repeatedly cancelled she ended up on a drip after being starved of food and water at the University Hospital of North Staffordshire.

The surgeries were put off because the specialist consultants due to carry them out were unavailable.

Irene, who suffers from dementia, remained in hospital yesterday, 18 days after she broke her shoulder in a fall at her home in Longton, Staffs., on August 25.

The operations were cancelled between August 30 and September 3 before she finally went under the knife a day later.

Her furious daughter, Christine Barnes, 52, has blasted hospital staff who left feeling like the treatment was “a joke”.

Christine, from Dresden, Staffs., said: “I kept thinking we were on ‘Candid Camera’, it was a joke. It made mum bad.

“The operation kept being cancelled because emergencies kept coming in from as far away as Wrexham.

“I understand that, but why was an 84-year-old lady left with no food or water for so long, it made her ill.

“My mother fasted from midnight on the Thursday, all the next day, only to be told the operation was cancelled at 7pm.

“On Saturday, they let her have a light breakfast, then she fasted again, with no food or water, but the same thing happened again.

“On Sunday it was the same and she had to go on a drip, because she was so dehydrated.

“The same thing happened on Monday and Tuesday before she finally went had the operation on Wednesday.”

Mrs Barnes’s sister Caroline Knight, aged 58, from Trentham, Staffs., said: “My mother was distraught. Even on the Wednesday the operation nearly didn’t happen. It only went ahead because we were complaining.”

Latest figures show 828 patients have had their operations cancelled over a 10-month period at the University Hospital. That represented 1.55 per cent of all operations.

Hospital associate chief nurse Trish Rowson said: “Due to the complex nature of the surgery Mrs Lowe required, it was necessary for a consultant surgeon specialising in shoulder surgery to be present.

“Unfortunately, our specialist consultants can be called to urgent cases at very short notice and this affects patients awaiting surgery.

“I would be very willing to meet with Mrs Lowe and her family to offer our sincere apologies regarding this delay and the timing of the fasting.”

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