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Justice for woman who died after infection was missed

THE daughter of a woman who died after a string of errors by hospital staff has said she finally feels she has justice after years of anger and frustration.

Olive Oliver said she can now let go and allow her mother to rest in peace after a report by the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) upheld complaints over Margaret Storie's care.

Medical staff at Stirling Royal Infirmary failed to diagnose a urinary tract infection (UTI) in the 84-year-old, despite being told several times by Mrs Oliver that her mother had a history of such infections.

Mrs Storie - who was initially admitted to hospital with a ­fractured wrist - suffered from deliria as result of the infection, as well as low blood pressure and an irregular heartbeat.

She died from a heart attack on the operating table as surgeons attempted to mend the fracture on February 23, 2011.

The ombudsman found that if hospital staff had taken the "relatively simple steps" to treat the infection, "the chances of a better outcome for [Mrs Storie] would have been much higher".

Mrs Oliver, 65, of Falkirk, said: "My mother went into hospital with a fractured wrist and in the end she died. It was just unbelievable and so, so sad.

"She was in such a state, her mind was really away because of the infection and they took her into theatre and she had a heart attack.

"It's been more than three years since she died and I've been so patient, trying to control my anger. These things just take so long.

"But now I feel at least I have some justice for my mother. It's not going to bring her back but I hope that by raising awareness of this I can stop it happening to someone else."

The SPSO report also ­highlighted that the surgical procedure should not have gone ahead as Mrs Storie had been wrongly diagnosed with dementia instead of suffering from deliria, and so was not asked for consent.

A Certificate of Incapacity was put in place and signed by a consultant at the hospital and the surgery was pushed through.

Mrs Oliver added: "They thought she had dementia so they went ahead with the ­operation and they didn't even consult me.

"My mother was such a ­character, she read a newspaper everyday and could tell you everything that was going on - dementia patients wouldn't do that. If they had spoken to me and listened to me perhaps this could have been avoided.

"She was my mother and this just shouldn't have happened. I know the hospital is going to ­apologise but it's a bit too late.

"This report has dragged ­everything up again but now I guess I've got to just let it come to an end and let my mother rest in peace. I'm just so glad the report was in my favour."

The ombudsman report stated: "Overall, the hospital's care of Mrs Storie failed to adequately acknowledge or diagnose, and provide reasonable and effective treatment for her UTI; therefore, her care in this regard fell below a level she could have reasonably expected."

A spokesman for NHS Forth Valley apologised for what happened to Mrs Storie and said changes had been made in a bid to stop it happening again. He added: "We are very sorry for the failures in this patient's care and treatment and the distress that these have caused.

"We met with the family in 2011 to apologise for a number of these failings and we will contact them again to apologise for all of the issues highlighted in the report.

"Lessons have been already been learned from this case and a number of actions have been taken to help prevent similar ­incidents from happening in the future.

"We fully accept all of the Ombudsman's recommendations and will ensure that these are addressed."

Contextual targeting label: 
Health

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