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Wife “broken hearted” after husband was placed on Pathway
Monday, 28th Jan 2013
Reporter: Ellis Barker Newbury News Reporter
Contact: 01635 886639
Contact: 01635 886639
A WIDOW is demanding answers from a West Berkshire hospital, claiming she has been left heart-broken after her husband was placed on a controversial end-of-life plan without her knowledge.
Leslie Weaver, aged 89, who was one of Sir Arthur ‘Bomber’ Harris’ Bomber Command crew in World War II, was admitted to West Berkshire Community Hospital with a rash on November 9 and died just one week later.
Yet his wife, Norma, aged 78, claims the medication for his blood disorder, Myeloproliferative, a strand of Leukaemia, which he had suffered with for four years, was stopped without her consent and instead morphine was injected into his system daily.
“It’s really broken my heart,” she said. “Leslie was my darling boy, my soulmate.
“I’m not saying he wasn’t dying, I’m saying he wasn’t ready to die.
“He was a great fighter and a lover of life, he wasn’t going to give up.”
The Liverpool Care Pathway is a course of action which sees a patient’s treatment altered in the run-up to their death when it is considered that their condition has deteriorated so badly that their previous treatment may no longer be beneficial or appropriate.
However Mrs Weaver said that, due to her husband’s Christian belief’s, it was unlikely he would have agreed to be placed on the Pathway himself, but neither she nor his children gave the go-ahead for his medication to be stopped either.
She added that the fact that they had not been consulted on the change to his care meant that his children, four of whom live in Canada and two in Cornwall, had not travelled to be at his bedside.
Mr Weaver died alone on the Hayward Ward on November 16.
Desperate to get answers, she contacted Labour Member of European Parliament for the South East of England, Peter Skinner, who has contacted the hospital on her behalf.
A spokeswoman for the Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Fiona Cordy, confirmed that the Pathway is used at the hospital, but said this would be discussed with the patient, their family and their GP, with consent being granted by all parties before it would proceed.
Patient confidentiality prevented her from commenting on Mr Weaver’s death, but she confirmed that an investigation had been launched.
She said: “[We] would like to offer our deepest sympathy to Mrs Weaver for her loss.
“When a patient is close to the end of life, we follow rigorous standards on how we care for the patient and how we communicate with them and their families.
“Our priority is to provide the best quality of care and to ensure the patient is as comfortable as possible at this stage.”