Family ’disgusted’ with health service after loved one’s undignified death

Francis Clayton died at Boston Pilgrim Hospital last week.
Francis Clayton died at Boston Pilgrim Hospital last week.

The family of a terminally ill Skegness patient say they are ‘angry, upset and disgusted’ after their loved one died in ‘traumatic and undignified’ circumstances.

Francis Clayton, a 49-year-old chronic lung disease sufferer, died in Boston Pilgrim Hospital last Monday morning.

Although his two sisters were prepared for his death, they claim poor treatment hastened its onset and robbed them of their final chance to say goodbye.

“We were under no grand illusions there would be some miracle cure but it was the fact that he was shoved from pillar to post that led to his death,” said his younger sister Michelle Clayton.

Francis’s condition had deteriorated over the weekend so he was taken by ambulance to receive oxygen because the Skegness nursing home he was staying at had run out.

Michelle says he was initially turned away from Boston Pilgrim and sent to Skegness Hospital only to be refused admittance there and returned to Pilgrim once again.

While there, she says he spent three hours lying on a trolly in an A&E corridor before he was given a bed.

He is then said to have fallen out of bed because its protective sides were lowered. Francis died shortly after the fall in the early hours of Monday morning.

Michelle and her sister Frances both feel the upheaval of being moved between hospitals, left in a corridor and falling from his bed contributed to his death.

“I think it was absolutely disgusting that he was left for three hours and I’m very upset and angry about it,” said Frances, who also lives in Skegness and suffers from the same condition as her brother.

They also say the confusion over where he was being treated prevented them from visiting him during his final moments.

“I’m so angry and terribly sad because of what he went through - he was such a loving brother and he never complained about anything,” said Michelle.

United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust (ULHT) the operator of Boston Pilgrim and Lincolnshire Community Health Services (LCHS) which runs Skegness Hospital have both said they cannot comment on individual cases.

However they each have urged patients and their families to raise concerns with the trusts.

“Our sympathies are with the family at this time and we would always encourage anyone to raise their concerns with us so we can discuss their family member’s care directly,” added a spokesperson for LCHS.

Michelle and Francis have also criticised Seacroft Court Nursing Home for not having oxygen on site.

James Wood, managing director of Prime Life, which runs the home, has expressed his condolences to the family but is satisfied with the standard of treatment provided.

“Whilst acknowledging the family’s concerns over the lack of dignity provided to Mr Clayton by both Skegness and Boston Pilgrim Hospital I would like to commend all of the staff at Seacroft Court for the prompt action that was taken to support both Mr Clayton and his family,

“I have personally reviewed all of our actions and am satisfied that all procedures were followed swiftly, and, more importantly in a dignified and respectful manner and will continue to liaise with the family to share with them the evidence of our actions”