FAMILIES and widows of patients who were allegedly subjected to “appalling and humiliating” care are launching legal action against a Midland hospital trust.
A group action is to be launched by at least ten families and widows of mainly elderly patients treated at Redditch’s Alexandra Hospital claiming human rights were contravened.
Human rights lawyer Emma Jones, of law firm Leigh Day & Co, said the move was prompted by serious complaints against bosses of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust.
Stories have emerged of medical staff allegedly putting “do not resuscitate” into records without relatives’ consent.
Miss Jones, who is the former head of legal for national mental health charity Mind, said the claims were not limited to the elderly but to other patients, especially the most vulnerable.
“A common theme with these cases is patients left dehydrated, food left out of their reach, not enough staff and the ones present not seeming to care,” said Miss Jones. “We will argue under the Human Rights Act that the standard of care breached the families’ human rights and the level of distress and anxiety is compensatable.”
Widow Patricia Hodges decided to take legal action after watching the deterioration and death in January of her 73-year-old husband Laurence.
The former Cadbury worker was admitted to the Alexandra Hospital with a stroke four months after undergoing a heart bypass operation.