Cecelia’s Story

We were contacted by the family of Mrs Welch after she had died in hospital. They wanted us to represent them at the Inquest into Mrs Welch’s death. We supported the family during this very upsetting process. The Coroner found there had been serious failings and made recommendations to the Defendant hospital for improving treatment to patients.We are often approached by clients who need representation at an Inquest. Mrs Welch’s family came to us following her death. Mrs Welch had been admitted to Leicester General Hospital with a history of heart problems and cellulites (a serious skin condition). She and gained weight due to fluid retention. Mrs Welch’s GP recommended admission to hospital for monitoring and treatment. It was anticipated that IV medication would be given which was likely to have better results than oral medication.

Unfortunately Mrs Welch had limited input by Senior Doctors and her medication was changed. She spent the next two weeks being transferred to outlying wards. It became apparent to Mrs Welch’s family that her treating Consultants rarely visited the ward.

On the morning of Mrs Welch’s death her daughter and son-in-law, Linda and David Rowe, were travelling to the hospital with a letter of complaint. The family were shocked to learn of Mrs Welch’s death and consequently invited the Coroner to investigate whether the death could have been avoided.

The Coroner held an Inquest at which the Doctors involved in Mrs Welch’s treatment gave evidence that she was seriously ill on admission and they did not expect her to be discharged. This was the first time that Mrs Welch’s family had been informed that she was unlikely to improve or return home. They were very disappointed that it took an Inquest to bring this information to light.

An independent report from a Nursing Care expert instructed by the Coroner was highly critical of the monitoring of Mrs Welch’s condition. The family were upset to learn that Mrs Welch’s pain medication was ignored and she did not receive reasonable care which could have improved her quality of life.

Mrs Welch’s family would probably have not invited the Coroner to hold an inquest had doctors communicated with them more fully when Mrs Welch was admitted to hospital. However, in light of their determination to investigate what had happened to Mrs Welch, serious failings were identified. It is hoped that the Coroner’s recommendation that the Trust fully investigate and identify ways in which treatment can be improved will help patients in the future