Family’s anger at Dagenham nan’s death

PUBLISHED: 07:00 17 September 2015

Roseanne, Kazim, Morgan and mum Natalie McCarthy with a picture of her nan

Roseanne, Kazim, Morgan and mum Natalie McCarthy with a picture of her nan


A mum-of-five has blamed Queen’s Hospital for the death of her nan after she passed away from pneumonia, just days after she was discharged for the same illness.

Rita FlemingRita Fleming

Rita Fleming, of Roosevelt Way, Barking, was rushed to the Romford hospital on August 4 but was sent home 11 days later.

Her family claim that her catheter bag was still attached when she returned home and her granddaughter and full-time carer, Natalie McCarthy, says she got progressively worse over the following 10 days.

“She should have never been sent home,” believes the 31-year-old, who was heavily pregnant with her youngest child at the time.

“She was still poorly and got worse and worse – worse than when she went in the first time.”

Mrs Fleming, 70, was taken back to the hospital on August 13 but passed away two days later, surrounded by her family.

Natalie has received a letter from Barking, Havering and Redbridge University NHS Trust (BHRUT), which manages Queen’s hospital, to say there that there will be a full investigation into why her nan was discharged, despite the family’s claim that she was still “very unwell with pneumonia, low heart rate and low sats [oxygen saturation in the blood]”.

But Natalie says that the letter is simply too little too late.

“I’m very, very angry,” she said. “I know 100 per cent that my nan had a good few years still left inside her and if it wasn’t for the hospital she’d still be here today.

“There’s no point looking into it now, they should have done more when she was alive.”

Matthew Hopkins, BHRUT’s chief executive, said: “I’m very sorry that Mrs Fleming’s family do not feel she was given the high standards of care that we aspire to give all of our patients, and would like to send them my condolences.

“We will be looking very closely at the care we provided to Mrs Fleming, and will keep her family fully informed of our findings.”

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