Thursday, 26 April 2012

Liverpool Care Pathway – Compounding The Errors

The Liverpool Care pathway –

If it can happen to a journalist, it can happen to anybody.

Family in dispute with hospital over journalist’s death

The death of a former regional newspaper reporter who battled apartheid and once interviewed Enoch Powell has led to a dispute between his family and the hospital where he died.
Musosa Kazembe worked for the Swindon Advertiser in the 1970s and went on to work on various publications which saw him reporting from the front line of the fight against racism in Africa and Europe.
Following his death last week at the age of 74, his family gave an interview to the Advertiser in which they claimed he was condemned to die by Swindon’s Great Western Hospital.
Zimbabwean-born Musosa was in hospital for 28 days before his death. He had Parkinsons Disease and was believed to have been suffering from pneumonia.
His son Chim told the Advertiser his dad was left to ‘starve’ despite at one point being well enough to speak.
He said: “When he woke up he spoke to the nurse and said ‘how are you?’ in clear English,” he said.
“She said she was okay and asked how he was. Then he asked for food.”
The family claim a junior doctor administered what they were told was a mild sedative, which turned out to be a powerful mixture of morphine and diazepam.
Chim claimed the purpose was to make sure he slipped into a deep sleep despite the fact he had been ‘crying out’ for food.
He added: “I’m not saying if he had been treated he would have survived, but he would have got better, and he would have lived longer.”
Musosa fought against apartheid in South Africa and in his native Zimbabwe he helped freedom fighters escape Gonakudzingwa prison.
His activities led to him being expelled from his homeland and he settled in Swindon where he remained for most of the next 40 years.
During that time he interviewed Conservative right-wing politician Enoch Powell, notorious for his ‘rivers of blood’ speech on immigration.
He also worked for the Drum magazine in South Africa, the Times, the BBC and the defunct newspaper, The European.
Hospital bosses were due to meet with the family this week to discuss their concerns.
Elizabeth Daly, head of patient experience at Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, told the Advertiser: “We would like to offer our condolences to Mr Kazembe’s family following his death on Wednesday.
“We have already been in contact with his family to discuss their concerns, and have invited them in for a meeting next week to discuss them further. The Trust takes all complaints very seriously and will be investigating the issues raised.
“Due to patient confidentiality, we are unable to comment further at this stage.”

This further report follows -

Family still seeking answers over journalist's death 

The family of former regional newspaper reporter say they are still no clearer as to how he died following a meeting with the hospital where he was put on a treatment plan before his death.
Musosa Kazembe, who worked for the Swindon Advertiser in the 1970s, died at Great Western Hospital in the town on 28 December.
He had been put on a scheme designed to comfort the dying in their final days called the Liverpool Care Pathway.
Earlier this week we reported that his family were due to meet with hospital bosses following a dispute in which they claimed he was left to starve.
His three sons allege he was administered powerful sedatives and denied food or water despite at one point being well enough to cry out for something to eat.
His family have now requested his medical notes and are waiting for the hospital to release the information.
A spokesman for Great Western Hospital told the newspaper this week that it had been looking into the complaint since it was first raised but the investigation was not yet complete as it takes time to review all of the information to prepare a full response.
In a statement they said: “We have kept the family fully informed of the investigation, sharing information with them in an open manner and have had almost daily contact with them keeping them up to date.”
Musosa’s son Chim told the Advertiser: “When my father was admitted they said he was suffering from a virus. It took three days to carry out tests but by then they had already switched everything off, and we were never told the results.”
The family are also contesting whether his cause of death was pneumonia as stated on his death certificate or whether he starved.
The family want a post-mortem to determine the factors in Musosa’s death, but may have to pay for it to be carried out because the Wiltshire and Swindon coroner said the death had not been referred by the hospital.
In his journalism days Musosa reported on the fight against racism in Africa and Europe and once interviewed Enoch Powell.

This gentleman was a well-respected journalist. But,as Mickey Rooney says...

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