Royal Preston Hospital Criticized At City Inquest

Written by Louise Pratt

A grieving family has spoken out about the lack of communication given by Royal Preston Hospital when their mother was receiving care there.

The Retired dinner lady, Ann Miller, sadly died at Preston hospital following a fall in her home.

Coroner Chris Long concluded that her death was accidental, as the fall had triggered a a pulmonary embolism and a stroke, leading to her death.

During the inquest, Sharon Kirkby, Anns daughter, said that despite pleas to speak to a doctor about her mother’s condition, she did not receive any communication.

Sharon, who has previously worked at Royal Preston Hospital, said

“It was disgusting how we were treated. They didn’t tell us anything about her being put on end of life care. They didn’t tell us how severely ill she was. No doctors would ever call me. Every day I asked could I speak to a doctor.”

Ann had fallen in her home in Preston nine days before she was admitted to hospital. She had been helped up and given something to eat and drink, however had become bedbound after the accident.

Her daughter had covid at the time, leaving her unable to take care of her mother. When she had finally recovered and went to visit her mother, Sharon quickly realised that she was in need of urgent treatment.

She was admitted to the emergency department with a fractured femur and pressure sores.

Consultant orthopaedic surgeon Mr Raslan Housameldin told the inquest that Ann suffered from hypertension, Alzheimer’s dementia, recurrent blood clots and rheumatoid arthritis. 

Doctors operated on her leg but she developed renal issues and became confused. Scans revealed that she had sustained an injury to her kidney and a stroke which she was unable to recover from.

Ann passed away from pulmonary embolism and contributed to by a stroke and the fractured right femur.

Due to the covid restrictions in place at the time, Sharon was unable to visit her mother in the hospital.

She repeatedly asked to speak to a doctor, however no one called. On the day of Ann’s passing, a nurse called to say she had become unresponsive and asked family members to come in. They arrived to find that their mother had sadly passed away.

Mr Housameldin apologised to Sharon for the lack of communication from the hospital and said he couldn’t say why this had happened.

Sharon also asked: “Why did you decide she was not for resuscitation?” Mr Housameldin said it was a medical decision from the stroke physicians. A statement was also provided by a stroke unit doctor.

A Lancashire Teaching Hospitals spokesperson said: “We would like to offer our condolences to the family of Mrs Miller and would like to apologise if they did not feel fully informed on the patient’s situation. We would encourage the family to contact our Patient Experience and Advice Team for support and for us to investigate this further.”