‘Bed-blocking’ patient later died after refusing care at home, inquest hears
- Credit: BBC Look East/PA Wire
A man who was evicted from hospital by a court order after refusing to leave his bed for more than two years later died after refusing help from carers at home, an inquest heard.
Adriano Guedes, aged 65, of Kessingland, died on September 1, 2018 after he refused food, water and personal help from carers for several weeks.
An inquest into his death at Suffolk Coroners' Court in Ipswich today heard how Mr Guedes moved to England from Portugal more than 15 years ago.
He was admitted to the James Paget University Hospital in 2014 after losing the use of all his limbs after a stroke.
He said he had asked to be moved out of hospital to a 'wheelchair-friendly place' and to see a spinal specialist in London - but ended up spending 862 days at the Gorleston hospital, saying staff offered him options they "knew [he] would refuse".
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The JPUH disputed this and he was eventually evicted in January 2017, later being housed in Kessingland where he was offered care visits four times a day.
His GP, Dr Alexander Lie-Critchley, told the coroner he visited Mr Guedes in May 2017 after being told that he had gone on hunger strike, describing him as malnourished.
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During a discussion about his health, the Portuguese national told his doctor that he understood the consequences of what he was doing, and that he wanted to die.
However Suffolk County Council social services worker Linda Hempston said she believed he was seeing how far he could "stretch himself". She told the court how he discussed his plans to go on hunger strike with carers.
Ms Hempston said his plans were "very clear and structured" and that he was "knowledgeable about how it would affect him".
She also reported that Mr Guedes had conspiracy theories which were to do with "the state" but said it was difficult to differentiate between delusion and genuine belief because he was "very knowledgeable".
The social worker told the court that Mr Guedes "could still be alive today" if he had accepted the help that was offered to him.
Dr Lie-Critchley also noted that without the carers who "only had their patient's welbeing in mind", Mr Guedes could have died years earlier.
All of the witnesses said that they believed that Mr Guedes had the mental capacity to make the decision to reject care, despite them being unwise.
Senior Suffolk coroner Nigel Parsley concluded that Mr Guedes died of sepsis of unknown origin and acute kidney injury, which was the result of self-neglect.