Hospital apologies to 'Dispatches' family

2 March 2011
The chief executive of Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust has promised “a full and thorough investigation” after a Channel 4 programme showed what it called the “poor” end-of-life care one patient received at East Surrey Hospital, Redhill.

Channel 4’s Dispatches programme, aired on Monday (February 28), followed three terminally ill people and the care they received in the NHS. One of them was Khaleel 'Ken' Rasheed, an 80-year-old Parkinson’s sufferer in the final weeks of his life.

Mr Rasheed died in East Surrey Hospital having been admitted there last October following a seizure. He initially did well on a stroke ward – his family praising the care he received as “second to none.”

But nine days after being admitted he was transferred to a general ward, and his family grew worried about the care he was given there, and his quick deterioration.

During secret filming, Mr Rasheed was seen to become increasingly uncomfortable. A male nurse on the ward was caught on camera shouting at him when he showed reluctance to take pills due to the effects of his stroke. His daughter Tamina said she had asked staff to feed him his medication with yoghurt to make it easier for him to swallow.

Tamina said in the programme she “dreaded” what state she might find him in when visiting.

“I've lost trust in some of the people caring for him – not all – but he's getting worse,” she said.

During one of his frequent seizures, the nurses were shown discussing Mr Rasheed at his bedside when the programme's narrator said they should in fact have called a doctor.

The programme cited a recent report from the Health Service Ombudsman which said elderly people suffered unnecessary pain, indignity and distress while being looked after, exposing “a lack of humanity and compassion from NHS carers.”

Michael Wilson, chief executive of Surrey & Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, admitted the care given to Mr Rasheed was “hugely regrettable”.

He added: “We now need to review the footage in detail, identify the individuals involved and conduct a full and thorough investigation.

“What was shown was not an in depth investigation into the care patients receive at East Surrey Hospital, it was one family’s experience which is hugely regrettable.

“I personally have apologised to the family for any distress caused by the trust, and I want to assure you that I’ll do everything in my power to investigate the issues that have been raised.”

It is understood that Mr Rasheed’s family have not complained about his treatment and Mr Wilson pointed out that overall complaints about care at the hospital – which annually treats 66,000 people - have fallen.

Mr Rasheed died in hospital on December 4 2010.


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