Sunday, November 11, 2007

More fatal bungling from an NHS hospital

The husband of the Jehovah's Witness mom who died after refusing a blood transfusion because of her beliefs is blaming the hospital where she lost her life. Anthony Gough, 24, claims medical staff may have been negligent over wife Emma's death - and legal action could follow. He has told friends Emma, 22, WOULD have submitted to a transfusion - if it had used her OWN recycled blood.

Anthony claims when staff brought in a blood-cell salvage machine for the procedure they were unsure how to use it. It's alleged medics were frantically looking on the internet for instructions as Emma died.

The Sun told this week how Emma died from blood loss after giving birth to twins at at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital. She had signed a form forbidding a transfusion as they are banned by her religion. Medics urged husband Anthony to overrule her decision but he said he could not. Heating engineer Anthony, 24, of Dawley, Shrops, and his family - who are caring for the motherless boy and girl twins - refused to comment last night.

But a friend of the family said: "Anthony and Emma would not permit a stranger's blood to be used because that would be against their Witness faith. "It was a question of storing blood coming out of Emma and putting it back into her. "But Anthony says the staff on duty didn't know how to operate the machine. He's angry, frustrated and heartbroken."

A coroner has opened an inquest into Emma's death. A spokesman for the Royal Shrewsbury said it had received no complaints about staff conduct, but a full internal inquiry was in progress.


The great NHS wait

One in ten people are still waiting at least a year for NHS outpatient treatment, it was revealed yesterday. Out of 223,670 cases completed by August, 22,212 had been referred for ops by their GP at least 52 weeks earlier, figures show. Thousands more did not have surgery within six months, and nearly half - 44 per cent - waited for longer than the Government's planned new 18-week target.

Ministers have promised that by the end of 2008 nearly all patients will be seen within that deadline. Tories claimed clinical priorities will be distorted to meet the goal. Shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley said: "We need a health service in which professionals are freed from central targets."

Director of NHS Performance David Flory admitted some people would never be treated within 18 weeks as it was not medically appropriate. But he said 90 per cent would be seen within the target. Health minister Ben Bradshaw insisted the NHS was on course to hit the target. He said: "That ten per cent figure is still unacceptable. But ten years ago it was common for people to wait 18 months."


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